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

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In an age of dwindling partisanship – where Taylor Swift can dine alongside The National and Bon Iver and few bat an eyelid – it seems musicians are inspired as much by peers’ values and traits as their sonic trademarks. Citing the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club, Daughter and Laura Marling, Jodie Nicholson is a case in point: her goal isn’t so much to sound like her influences, but rather to create like them.

“The artists who inspire me the most are those with the confidence to say ‘You know what? I’m going to do this. You might think you know who I am, but I’m going to change that perception. Yet it’s still somehow going to sound like me!’” She muses. “I’d hate to be bound within a single box or genre just because that’s what I’d done before, regardless of what’s expected of me.”

Fans of Jodie’s illuminating debut album can breathe easy: the gifted Hurworth singer-songwriter hasn’t undertaken a full donk or done a death metal 180. Instead, new EP Can’t Escape The Feeling builds gamely on the minimal acoustic and piano-based framework established on that eponymous 2019 release; its novel synths and pad percussion adding fresh depth to four intimate accounts of feeling lost amidst familiar surroundings.

I’d hate to be bound within a single box or genre just because that’s what I’d done before, regardless of what’s expected of me

“Although I’m yet to nail down my sound, this feels like the most ‘me’ music so far; it presents all the facets of what I am as an artist, and what I can bring to the table sonically,” she claims. “Lyrics are a massive part of it, too. Maybe it’s just down to experience, but I’m finally beginning to understand how to make a song say what I want it to say.” According to Jodie, this rings particularly true for the EP’s lead single and opening number: “Be Back Soon has every element of a Jodie Nicholson song bottled into one,” she states. “That’s the one I’d bring to somebody to say ‘This is who I am.’ It felt like the perfect introduction, as the other three songs are like extensions of that world.”

According to Jodie, it’s a culmination for which remote producer Tim Bran (London Grammar, Aurora, Rae Morris) also deserves a share of the credit: “Tim really understands my sound and knows where to take it, but is also open to experimenting with ideas I bring to the table.”

One of these brainwaves manifests on Why Would You (Go), a track permeated by an off-the-cuff voice memo Jodie recorded in one such familiar setting. “That song was basically written about talking to myself in my car – which I do a lot! – but it didn’t necessarily sound finished,” she recalls. “I drive alone most of the time, and it’s become a bit of a safe space where I can process my thoughts. Maybe I do it too much, but inspiration comes in phases – you have to take advantage when the time comes!

“In terms of the next step, I don’t know what it’s going to be yet, and that’s really exciting to me,” she adds, returning to the subject of change. “There will be common themes – whatever comes next will have loads of harmonies, it’ll be warm and cosy and it might make you cry – but whether it’s a single or a full body of work it’s bound to be different!”

Jodie Nicholson’s new EP, Can’t Escape
The Feeling, is released on Friday 20th August. She performs at Last Train Home festival in Darlington on Saturday 4th September, Twisterella festival in Middlesbrough on Saturday 9th October and Westgarth Social Club, Middlesbrough on Friday 22nd October.



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