The work of Saskatchewan-born singer-songwriter Madison Nicol flits around the periphery of several different genres, rarely becoming still for longer than a moment and reveling in the musical freedom these transitory movements afford him. Effortlessly moving through the varying atmospheres of country, folk and rock, he expertly assimilates these sounds into something refreshingly devoid of artifice and wholly of his own creativity. There’s a familiarity, to be sure, but he deftly avoids rote imitation of his influences and opts for an ingenious adaptation of these particular rhythmic reverberations.
Yearning for a way to explore the world outside of his hometown and looking to simultaneously broaden his melodic experiences, Nicol spent some time as a student at Berklee College of Music, creating and releasing a series of 3 EPS. Featuring all original material, he wrote, played and produced nearly every note across these albums. He’s also found time to lend his expertise as a multi-instrumentalist, engineer, arranger and producer to artists such as Surf Dads, Blue Youth, Amaya Lucyk, Marissa Burwell. and Matt Semple. He is currently working on his debut full-length, which he hopes to finish soon, though no release date has yet been given.
In the midst of these ongoing sessions, however, he has found the time to share a new one-off single called “Someone Else Will,” which was produced in his new studio basement. Blending languid country arrangements with heartfelt lyrics about the ache of a dissolving relationship, the song feels pained and aware of this drawn-out devastation. There’s an old-school Americana euphoria winding its way through each verse and chorus, a wash of textured melodies and soaring vocals that surrounds and ensnares your senses. You can hear echoes of early Steve Earle and Lone Justice woven into its DNA, rocking when the opportunity presents itself and delving into emotional turmoil when necessary.
“This song was the product of an experiment where I would wake up on Sunday mornings and immediately go to the guitar and/or piano to write whatever came to my mind,” Nicol explains. “My hope was that the experiment would produce something raw/honest, with the editor portion of my brain still fast asleep. I sat down at the piano and played the chords that became the chorus of this song and thought "well that has some gravity to it". The second time I played through the chorus, I sang the entire melody with most of the lyrics already in place. I'm notoriously slow when it comes to writing lyrics, so to have chords, melody, and lyrics in a matter of minutes was the most pleasant surprise I could ever imagine. It reminded me of an idea expressed by many of my favourite artists, where they say that they don't actually write their songs, they're simply the first people to hear them. That's very much how it felt as this song came to life. The lyrics leave very little to the imagination.”
He continues: “This was written about/for a friend of mine that I had started to develop romantic feelings for (or so I told myself, because surely a song like this wouldn't come from nowhere). I'm not necessarily one for extended/excessive guitar solos, but after the final chorus I wanted to take the song to the same place that I was in when it was first written. So the lead guitar that carries the song to its conclusion was a single take of me playing the way I felt (to paraphrase Chopin). Sharing this song brings up a host of emotions, most of them conflicting. Given how close the song is to me and my life, it makes me incredibly apprehensive to share it with others as it really is a glimpse inside my head. And yet I've never been more excited to share a piece of my own work as I believe it's the best song I've written, and best record I've made. ‘What comes from the heart, reaches the heart.’"