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Nicole Andrews - Album Review: In the Shallows

15 May 2015 // A review by Ria Loveder

Nicole Andrews' debut album In The Shallows, has shown the New Zealand music scene that she is one talented women. Nicole is a self-taught pianist and has created a collection of songs that are reflective, thoughtful and raw.

Before I talk about the album I think I need to allow a paragraph to discuss the album cover photo. An image of Andrews herself, standing in what seems to be a steamed up room. The image is beautiful and I knew who the photographer was straight away, the very talented Brett Stanley. I love his work and have been captivated by his underwater shoots for a long time, with it actually being a goal of mine to be able to score an underwater shoot with him some time in the future. I applaud Andrews in getting Stanley to take the art for the cover, it is such a striking image, full of emotion and vulnerability.

One of my favourite songs on the track was Practicing Freedom. A beautifully simple song. The melody is gorgeous and the lyrics expose a vulnerable character. It’s songs like this that make me wonder if the story the artist is talking about has actually come form their own experience. If so, this is a very brave thing to do. Showing all your scars and expressing your pain for other people to listen to. If the story of this song is true, I hope writing and singing about it is Andrews’ catharsis. If this is a fictional story on the artist’s behalf then I wish more singers had such vivid imaginations.

Pixelated Roses, again is another emotional piece, with a beautiful violin solo. This songs tune got very much stuck in my head, and since I got the CD I have been humming it frequently. This song also showcases Andrews’ voice. She uses her power only when it is needed so that it jumps out at you. She has a very interesting and intriguing way of drawing out words, which creates emotional impact.

Time, definitely pulled on my heart strings. This was my favourite song on the album. Stunningly written and a song that I believe perfectly suits Andrews’ voice. It is one of those songs that makes me wish my piano skills were far better than just having Mary had a little lamb in my repertoire. It makes me want to sit at the piano and learn. I don’t think any words I say will be able to convey how much this song got to me. You all just have to listen to it… Now please!

To be honest, I could have written about every song for this review. I am so lucky and glad I got to listen to this album. Nicole has created a beautifully composed album with beautiful songs and haunting vocals. This is a stunning debut album. She has set the bar high for her future projects, but you know what, I know she is going to keep creating superb works of art.


About Nicole Andrews

Nicole Andrews is a self-taught pianist and electronic artist originally from Portland, Oregon, now living in Wellington.

Her debut album, In the Shallows, focused on piano driven alternative, and went on to receive critical acclaim within New Zealand and overseas.

Her sophomore album, A Stranger, has diversified from the previous ‘piano songs’ moniker, instead drawing on electronic influences such as Bjork, Goldfrapp and Arca. Paired with Rhombus’ Thomas Voyce as producer, the compositions centre around the Prophet 6 synthesizer and the raw confessional lyrical stylings Nicole is known for. The result is a gritty and dark album that reveals a new side of this singer-songwriter.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Nicole Andrews


A Stranger
Year: 2018
Type: Album
In The Shallows
Year: 2015
Type: Album

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