When I first clicked play on Nalu Luvdust’s debut mixtape ‘Tacenda’ I thought I was in for a cute release about love. Then she absolutely floored me with “You know when you’re with somebody who makes you feel the whole damn universe? Well I don’t. It seems like a joke.” Right there on the opening track. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of cuteness and feel-good vibes about love but it’s much deeper than that.
Nalu is a Cape Town based singer, songwriter, and producer who has used all her music making talents to put together quite a remarkable debut release. In the press release she says “My sound and style is made up of Neo-Soul vocal harmonies, R’nB acoustics and lofi guitar riffs. I create music for soothing, healing, falling in love and feel good experiences.” She delivers what’s promised with a candid look at relationships and the self in a relationship.
“Bedtime Confessions” has a soothing Jack Johnsonesque acoustic guitar riff driving the song and the hook of “Ain’t nothing matters if we’ve got love,” makes it perfect for that playlist you’re currently putting together for your crush. Kitty is snare and synth driven and reworks a classic 50 Cent chorus that deals with the fleeting nature of love. “I’ll Give you the Moon” is a short and sharp letter to an ex who didn’t quite deliver but she’s thankful for all the same. “Vanilla Flavored” deals with how our flaws and toxicity can get in the way of a good thing. And in “Heart of Feminity” she thanks God for break ups. Throughout the mixtape, Nalu bears her soul in a way that’s relatable and explores the different sides to loving other human beings.
It also helps that the songs are incredibly well written and I’d say this is a mixtape the same way that Frank Ocean’s Lonny Breaux releases were mixtapes. Like, if you told me this was an album, I’d believe you. It’s clear that Nalu knows exactly what she’s doing and can write songs that hit that sweet spot of making you feel-good whilst breaking your heart.
Album artwork by: Jade Ayla