“Don’t forget I’m still somebody’s daughter”: néomí’s Breathtaking Debut Album Shines With Her Real, Raw, & Unfiltered Humanity

'somebody's daughter' by néomí © Liz van den Akker
néomí’s Neomi Speelman takes us track-by-track through her enchanting, empowering, and achingly exposed debut album ‘somebody’s daughter’ – a beautifully vulnerable folk-pop record that shines bright with the artist’s own raw, unfiltered humanity and warm inner light.
Stream: “somebody’s daughter” -néomí




Perhaps the best way to describe néomí’s debut album is as a rehumanization.

The Surinamese-Dutch singer/songwriter has always worn her heart on her sleeve, and on her first full-length album, she spills her soul yet again – cutting to the core of who she’s been and who she’ll always be in thirteen stirring, stunning folk-pop masterpieces. Each track reveals another side to the artist’s own raw, unfiltered humanity, and rightfully so: When you treat songwriting like a personal diary, the results are sure to be visceral and breathtaking.

néomí is empowered and exposed on somebody’s daughter, an achingly intimate and beautifully vulnerable record that shines bright with her own warm inner light. But she takes it one step further, ensuring not only that her life stories are thoroughly captured and thoughtfully conveyed, but also that our shared human experience resonates in the process. No matter who you are or where you’re from, you can find yourself in these songs – and that’s not something to be taken for granted.

'somebody's daughter' by néomí © Liz van den Akker
somebody’s daughter – néomí
Now tell me something
Is this life all being
lived for meaning nothing?
‘Cause I wonder
If I could be
Just a vague memory
inside your body
Inside your body
I know I don’t…
I know that I’m changing all the time
I’m trying my hardest to wash you off my mind
I know life goes on and
Don’t forget I’m still somebody’s daughter
– “somebody’s daughter,” néomí

Released May 3, 2024 via [PIAS] Recordings, somebody’s daughter is a gentle giant of sweet songwriting, soulful singing, and sweeping performance. Following 2022’s before EP and 2023’s sister EP after, néomí’s debut album sees the Netherlands-based artist, née Neomi Speelman, coming into her own through a trove of candid confessionals yearning for cathartic release.

néomí © Liz van den Akker
néomí © Liz van den Akker



As she explains, these songs are the result of therapy and considerable soul-searching.

“A year and a half ago I started therapy for the first time,” Speelman tells Atwood Magazine. “I had some big questions about life, and why we live. Sometimes I can get a bit stuck in my head, and overthink the existence of life. I guess I have been doing this since I was little, and now, because of therapy, I know a bit more why. For the first time I experienced emotions like they should be – a bit more real. I understood self-worth and what consent means. I wrote about that, and about the fact that you can judge people’s actions, but never the person behind the actions.”

“I think we were always born as somebody’s child, and in my case, somebody’s daughter. As a human being you make mistakes and sometimes make them twice. And that is alright, as long as you come back to being yourself behind the actions… I wrote a lot about these kind of thoughts and experiences.”

“Sometimes, because of the extreme emotions I felt, the journey went from left to right sometimes,” she adds. “There are some small and some heavier songs on the album, but I always try to keep things real, just like they were in the moment. I don’t think too much further than what the story means and how it should come across.”

“At the very end of recording it, and having been putting the songs into a live show, I realised the record came to present all the different forms and journey of grief. So say: There is a happening, and then you experience it, you do something with it, you feel it and you move on again. We called it a trip around Venus. I think that is and has always been the vision, next to the part that I wanted it to feel human, as somebody’s daughter had written it.”




Speelman describes somebody’s daughter as emotional, honest, and hopefully intense “but in a good way.”

The title is intentional, “because we are all somebody’s child; a son, daughter, unicorn, whatever you may be,” she smiles. “It is written from my perspective to another somebody’s daughter, but also about myself and for myself too.”

“Sometimes I don’t even recognise myself in these songs because I was finding out so much about who I was and who I am,” she admits. “The writing journey took me to places I never thought I would go. Also musically, it was super helpful because I now know who I am a bit better after listening to the songs. It introduces a side of me who is sometimes me and sometimes isn’t.”

“I hope it captures me as a human being, so other people can relate as human beings as well, and that they know when they listen to songs or come to shows, [that] it is an honest ride. And there will come more stories to tell in the future which might dive back into my core again. Maybe less bad girl era, but even being OK to be a sad girl era? Who knows.”

néomí © Liz van den Akker
néomí © Liz van den Akker



Whether we choose to label it “sad girl” or not, Speelman is without a doubt in her brooding era, as even her lighter songs are heavy with the weight of introspection and inward connection.

The album’s opener and title track exemplifies this as néomí sings about being let down by humankind, but nevertheless trying to see the light even in the dark spaces. “I know that I’m changing all the time; I’m trying my hardest to wash you off my mind,” she sings in the song’s bittersweet, empathic, and aching chorus. “I know life goes on, and don’t forget I’m still somebody’s daughter.”

In addition to “somebody’s daughter,” the album’s other singles – “your girl,” “garden,” “someone new,” and “so i let you (15th of June – evening)” – are all home to some of the record’s catchiest moments, and serve as a faithful teaser for the overall 40-minute journey. Elsewhere, néomí digs deeper than ever into herself on songs like “talk shit,” “low,” and “i’m not afraid of dying,” the latter of which turns a poignant moment of inner reckoning into an immortalized mortal reflection:

I have always liked the sound of rain
I watch it fall as if there’s no such thing as pain
Try to forget why I am ashamed
Is it true I’m the only one to blame?
Why am I alive
Just to see the years go by?
Oh, I’m not afraid of dying
I’m just afraid of crying
Walking through the streets of my hometown
Suddenly I realize I am older now
After all this time I still have doubts
What is it that you have figured out?
Why am I alive
Just to see the years go by?
Oh, I’m not afraid of dying
I’m just afraid of crying




Speelman herself cites a number of favorite songs and lyrical highlight throughout somebody’s daughter. “I think ‘your girl’ is definitely a highlight because I was so proud that I wrote a song that expressed my anger for the first time,” she beams. “But to me, my favourites are maybe the ones people will not listen to the most…’so i let you’ and ‘all you do is leave’ are faves, I think.”

The songs in question, both of which also carry the “15th of june” tag, feel like whispers sung directly into our ears. While the latter is a spirited, late-night indie pop tune a la Lorde or Jack Antonoff’s Bleachers, “all you do is leave (15th of june – night)” is a soft kiss goodnight at the record’s end – a demo that sounded so good the first time it was recorded, that néomí kept it that way. And so, as somebody’s daughter comes to a close, it does so while raising our hairs and sending shivers down the pine.

I have seen the signs now
Hope that it doesn’t change for I can change my mind
Soak it up, and take it in
The difference, the distance in between
Cause I’ve been moving forward
– “so i let you (15th of june – evening),” néomí
Time has passed you by,
as you walk into the room you ask my name

And I politely say, it’s me again, give you my hand
You look at me, and we are just the same
Where do I find you?
Oh I remember cold winter wind
You probably have no idea what’s happening
I can tell you it’s Christmas Eve,
And loving her is what you did
– “garden,” néomí




Wherever you press play on somebody’s daughter, you’re sure to be enchanted and inspired.

Building upon the beautiful warmth and dazzling vulnerability of her earlier EPs, Speelman has created a true feast for the ears, the heart, and the soul. She holds nothing back, pouring herself out in these thirteen songs, each one another all-consuming seduction dwelling in the raw depths of humanity.

“I really hope people hear a story of me, but more of their own as well,” Speelman shares. “All stages of grief, about the old you and becoming a new, better version with a lot of life experiences. I hope that people can find comfort in the softer songs, and that their sad feelings will be soothed. But I also hope that they can let go with some small little dances.”

“The name ‘somebody’s daughter’ came about when I had a conversation with my best friend. She said to me no matter what you do in life, or who you’ll become, you will always stay Neomi. And to me, she said: That means you are the daughter of your parents, a human who once was born as a baby and has grown into you, somebody’s daughter, which means you are always good and enough. Those words really pulled me through some deep moments where I forgot that ‘mistakes’ do not define you. You just live and you learn and you grow into a better version of you with every change and every obstacle you pull through. That is what the record meant to me while creating it, and hopefully people find that in it as well.”

Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside néomí’s somebody’s daughter with Atwood Magazine as she takes us track-by-track through the music and lyrics of her debut album!

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:: stream/purchase somebody’s daughter here ::
:: connect with néomí here ::
Stream: ‘somebody’s daughter’ – néomí



:: Inside somebody’s daughter ::

'somebody's daughter' by néomí © Liz van den Akker

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somebody’s daughter

I wrote this song when I felt most down about a situation that happened with people that I trusted the most. I lost the grip on reality for a bit and then my best friend came over and said: whatever you do, whatever happens, to me, you’ll always stay the daughter of your parents and stay the person I knew for so long. Someone’s actions don’t define the person you’ve become. So that is how ‘somebody’s daughter’ came about. A reminder to myself and for others that you are an ever-changing human being who’s allowed to make mistakes.

your girl

Me being fed up with myself and another for making the same stupid mistakes repeatedly. It is a metaphor for being someone else’s girl in search of yourself.

garden

A song I wrote for my grandmother. It is about my granddad who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. He slowly forgets everyone but she is his anchor, and she reminds him who he is everyday. I find that so beautiful but also scary and sad. I wrote this in case he ever forgets her, so it is soothing for her what she meant to him. And he might feel something when listening. I know it is a bit impossible but that’s why art has no rules haha.

someone new

A love letter to my therapist. Also me being fed up by being put in a ‘frame.’ Having the feeling it is not ok to be different but for the first time experiencing it the other way around. I am really thankful that my therapist taught me that. And fuck society for having no good and rightful place yet for the misfits. (haha this is me being dramatic).

i forgot to tell you

Oh well, a broken (very broken) heart song. Me accepting that it is really over but wanting to tell him one more time that I loved him so much. Sometimes it feels like I’m tempted to forget how much I loved someone and then suddenly it hits. In a good way. But also realising it was a beautiful way to let go, and it was beautiful to have shared such intimacy with someone beautiful.

so i let you  (15th of june – evening)

Acceptance, acceptance and acceptance. It was hard to let go, even when I didn’t want to.

talk shit

It’s actually about me and my friend who have a very strange friendship. We love each other unconditionally but we fight as if we are partners who don’t love each other anymore sometimes haha. Despite all that, I think we pull each other through the most heavy stuff we had to carry. So it is about us, being us. And about her asking me why wouldn’t you try to just stay alive?

low

Haha, I am ashamed of my heartbreak stories. ‘Low’ is about wanting someone not to go, thinking he needs to go and eventually asking him to please go.

i’m not afraid of dying

I want the music to do the explaining on this one.

could’ve been mine

When I got better, I saw the more fun things about life. I suddenly realised what was important to me, and what I could let go without being sad or anything else. It was a reminder to myself and to others that I could have been theirs but they have been stupid. Haha again it feels weird to talk about love life out in the open. Maybe we can let it be open for people their own interpretation haha.

all you do is leave (15th of june – night)

Another one I want to let people hear and make their own minds up about what it could be about.

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:: stream/purchase somebody’s daughter here ::
:: connect with néomí here ::

— — — —

'somebody's daughter' by néomí © Liz van den Akker

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Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
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NÉOMÍ’S NEW YEAR STARTS IN A SPACE OF EMPATHY, COMPASSION, AND UNFLINCHING HONESTY

:: INTERVIEW ::

“HEARTBREAK, GROWTH, & HEALING”: NÉOMÍ SPILLS HER SOUL IN ACHINGLY INTIMATE & BEAUTIFULLY RAW ‘AFTER’ EP

:: FEATURE ::

:: Stream néomí ::



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