Nona Hendryx – Skin Diver (1989)

FrontCover1.jpgNona Hendryx (born October 9, 1944), is an American vocalist, record producer, songwriter, musician, author, and actress.

Hendryx is known for her work as a solo artist as well as for being one-third of the trio Labelle, who had a hit with “Lady Marmalade.” Her music has ranged from soul, funk, and R&B to hard rock, new wave, and New Age. She stated in an interview that her family’s last name was originally spelled with an “i” and that she was a distant cousin of American music legend Jimi Hendrix. (by wikipedia)

A transitional album from the word go, Hendryx plays synthesizer and works with producer and former Tangerine Dream member Peter Baumann, and the result is this lush (at times too lush) pop record that sounds unlike anything else Hendryx recorded. Fans of her previous work may be taken aback by this record, but the dense, almost ambient, soundscapes she constructs and her always great singing make this a satisfying foray into uncharted territory. (by John Dougan)


“Skindiver” is, for me, a personal journey through the various stages, and resultant upheavals, of love in its many manifestations – from the yearning ‘Off The Coast Of Love’ (The Master – is love, according to Nona), to her cry for help ‘6th Sense’ (“Can anybody feel me/ Does anybody care”) to empiric rebirth in ‘New Desire’ (“I’m tenderly falling/ Into your arms, Catch me I’m falling”). ‘Women Who Fly’ and ‘No Emotion’ stand out for their sheer intensity and contrasting styles – the former’s percussion driven inner dialogue versus the latter’s guitar grinding highs and synthesized mellows exploring the divide people face at the end of bad relationships and wasted lives.

The inarguable gem of this collection, however, is ‘Through The Wire’. The ethereal quality of the music alone is stunning. Interwoven with Nona’s deft vocal stylings that are, in a word, breathtaking on every other track for their sheer emotional clarity, and you have a masterpiece that, in my humble opinion, I cannot imagine any other artist performing. (M.Nichols)


Rusty Anderson (guitar)
Peter Baumann (drum programming, programming, synthesizer)
Devra (piano)
Nona Hendryx (vocals, drum programming, piano, synthsizer)
Raymond Jones (piano)
John Pierce (bass)
Jerry Steckling (drum programming, programming, synthesizer)
Michael Thompson (guitar)
Kurt Wortman (percussion)
background vocals
The Carole Lombard Quartet
B.J. Nelson – Carole Pope


01. Off the Coast Of Love 4.33
02. Women Who Fly 5.13
03. No Emotion 5.30
04. Love Is Kind 3.39
05. Tears 4.34
06. Skin Diver 5.09
07. 6th Sense 6.01
08. Through the Wire 4.45
09. Interior Voices 4.50
10. New Desire 5.07

All songs written by Nona Hendryx