NEWS: Jodie Nicholson releases new single, Move | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The first release since Jodie Nicholson’s well regarded debut album Golden Hour, Move marks a significant change of direction for the Teesside songwriter. Fusing an electro soundscape with her ethereal and hypnotic vocals, Move’s a subdued pop gem which will no doubt appeal to fans of The Japanese House and Grimes. We spoke to Jodie to find out more about the single.

Soundwise, your latest single Move has deviated from previous releases. How would you describe it? Where did the inspiration for it come from?

Golden Hour felt like the perfect introduction to who I am as an artist, it demonstrated that I dabble with my sound; I love those intimate, stripped back moments just as much as the built-up choruses with as many harmonies and layers as you like. Move in many ways is a further progression of something like Losing Track and translating it to something more synth-based. Over the years of songwriting, I’ve grown to understand the specific qualities of my sound that makes me me, and my music taste has developed along the way. The more contemporary side you hear in Move is something I’ve had inside me for a while I think, but only until now I’ve understood how to draw upon those genres of music I love and slot myself into it. The whole process was really fun and quite liberating to write something a bit different and see how my sound at its core would adapt. 

Hilariously, Move (in its initial stages) was written almost by accident whilst I was working on Golden Hour. I wanted to write another track for the album as an instrumental or interlude, so I decided to search the sound libraries on Logic to get inspiration. I stumbled on this gorgeous synth that opens ‘Move’ and added a pad to act as a pulse; from there it felt like a really exciting track, unlike anything I’d ever written before. 

Move was a really interesting track for me, because initially it felt like a generic pop song with looping lyrics that I had no personal connection with. Most of the music I write comes from a very personal place, so Move automatically felt very different. Over time though, it became a huge symbol for just taking a feeling and running with it. I thought ‘we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, everything is topsy-turvy, if you’re going to take a risk, now’s the time to take it’. Many people will see Move as a curveball, (which there is no shying away from – it definitely is!) but in a weird way it felt like the right song at the right time to release and share with the world. 

Can you tell us about the circumstances of the recording?

I worked with producer Tim Bran, and it was such a treat. I never anticipated my first time working with a producer to be during a global pandemic! I borrowed and hired gear from studios (which I’m super grateful for), downloaded specific software so we could live-stream audio between us, and so Tim could remotely control the laptop in my room whilst I recorded vocals – the first day was pretty mind-blowing once we got everything set up.

I really felt like Tim understood my sound and was just as excited about the track as I was. We decided to enhance the demo and build upon the foundations already there, rather than using the demo as inspiration and starting from scratch. It was a very fun week of experimenting, testing out ideas, playing with sounds and ultimately building Move up to be everything it is now. Tim’s worked with artists I’ve admired for a long time (Rae Morris, London Grammar, Peakes, Aurora, the list goes on) and been involved in creating music I love, so I’m beyond grateful to have worked with him on Move and for the technology that actually made it possible during this weird time.

Tell us more about the video that accompanies the single…

I had this crazy idea of making an animation for the video, having never animated in my life before; and if that wasn’t ambitious enough, I wanted to project it onto my awkwardly-dancing self for the actual video. Myself and my sister, Sally, worked on the animation together, discussing and testing loads of different ideas together (with the help of YouTube)! I know Sally will want me to take most of the credit, as I did spend a solid month on it, but I really couldn’t have done it without her. 

In many ways, Move and all the visuals for it felt like my calling. It’s sound is quite abstract and playful in comparison to my previous releases, and both Sally and I chose very creative, illustration-based degrees at university, so this felt like the perfect opportunity to dive back into that world again and create something that combines my love for music and colourful, graphic, digital design.

For the actual video shoot, I worked with the legend Hollie Galloway, who miraculously made it through all the really fiddly edits without pulling all her hair out. We filmed at the Northern School of Art in Hartlepool in one of their photography studios – it felt very profesh! It was such a fun shoot and I’m so chuffed with the end result. I’m buzzing that we managed to pull it off given the current circumstances. All those hours staring at my laptop screen were SO worth it!

What’s next for you?

I’ve got something else Move-related to share before the end of this year – very excited about it! The biggest thing is working on my EP, which I’m planning on releasing springtime next year. Over lockdown I’ve been cooking up a few demos and ideas here and there, so now that Move is out I can spend time revisiting these and deciding which ones to progress further. My plan is to put out a few singles from the EP before its release in full, so the next 6-8 months are going to be really exciting!

 

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