The isolation of poverty

By Chris Sparham

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Johnston, a small factory town in Western Pennsylvania, is known more for its deadly floods than its music. Two major floods struck in 1889 and 1977, the latter of which Nondi’s family survived. Now, 46 years later, Nondi_ has released a new album inspired by her hometown and the musical influences she discovered online. 

Even though Johnstown has never quite moved past the floods, moments on the album capture a brighter atmosphere. These include the uplifting, nostalgic ‘Long Ago’ and the soothing ‘Healing Rain’, which cleverly subverts the town’s dark relationship with water. 

“Flood City Trax is music that captures the mood of living in a town like Johnstown, and more broadly, the isolation of poverty,” explains Nondi_. “That’s the environment it came out of, after all.” 

From the pulsating ‘FCD (Floating Cloud Dream)’ to the brooding ‘Nondi Shadow’, the tracks on ‘Flood City Trax’ are marked by captivating sonic imagery, pulling the listener in. As we drift through Nondi’s abstract soundscape, we encounter beams of sunlight, hear raindrops, and share in introspective moments of nostalgia and melancholy. 

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