INTERVIEW: JODIE NICHOLSON | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Perhaps, like me, you’re tiring of the words ‘Covid-19’ and its appearance in just about every article you pick up. Whilst not detracting from what is truly a horrific time, it’s maybe also important to question if everything needs to be, or even should be, contextualised in a coronavirus setting. Some things, unfortunately, can’t avoid the subject.

Recorded last year, and previously released online and on CD, the vinyl release of Darlington songwriter Jodie Nicholsons debut album offers interesting questions about the current state of the musical world and what newer artists can do to promote their music; especially in times when the live setting is unavailable and the social media space more crammed than usual.

Not being able to play live has shaken plans for the vinyl release for sure,” confirms Nicholson. “I had planned a really special launch in Darlington so coming up with alternative ideas has proven challenging.”

Written about love, loss and healing, Nicholson’s debut, Golden Hour, is a delicate piece of soulful pop music. Mostly performed in a minimal acoustic setting, the album’s success lies in its ability to use cleverly composed, open spaces and moods as a way to communicate reflective and personal thoughts about the world and relationships. “I see Golden Hour as an album for anyone who’s experienced loss or heartbreak in some way and have, or are experiencing, the healing process and the journey of self-discovery that comes after.” She explains.

I see Golden Hour as an album for anyone who’s experienced loss or heartbreak in some way

Having received laudable reviews, as well as plays on national radio, a recent successful Kickstarter campaign has allowed the album to move into phase two of its life cycle, and the soon to be released 12” vinyl version is something Nicholson feels is important to the album’s overall identity. “In some ways this feels like the last piece of the puzzle, and as the whole album was self-funded part of me always knew that vinyl would have to come at a later stage.”

Reflecting on the initial success of the album, and being able to re-contextualise the album in a different format, has also allowed Nicholson the space to consider her work in a different perspective. “It makes me realise everything I went through emotionally to produce the music and how much I’ve grown as a person since writing most of those songs.” She’s also becoming aware of how much composing and managing her music has led to personal growth. “I look back and think of a much braver, more fearless Jodie. Self-releasing a whole album, having never released anything before, is a pretty ballsy move and now I think this is what I achieved by myself, so imagine what I can do knowing what and who I know now.”

Outside of the record’s release, the current plan is to keep Golden Hour alive and help it reach further than its current audience; some recent livestreaming has proved popular (and an album launch will now follow the same format) as have changes to her social media identity. “I wouldn’t say I’m the best at social media, but creating content for Kickstarter and doing my first ever livestream gig has forced me to be much more present and active on my socials; my approach now has shifted and it’s showing more of who I am as a person.”

We may be living in strange times but perhaps we can all learn new skills, just like Jodie.

Jodie Nicholson releases Golden Hour on vinyl on 15th May via her website. Keep an eye on her social media pages for details on her album launch livestream

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