Hear It First: Luke Nicholson, “Shape and Sound”

Shape and Sound Cover

We’re thrilled to be able to share Luke Nicholson’s new project, “Shape and Sound,” with you here before it officially releases on April 14!  This album, Nicholson’s third release, offers a window into his life through the unique storytelling and musicianship that have always characterized his work.

If Nicholson’s previous album, “Frantic City,” drew a portrait of his experiences as a new husband and father (and juggling those with a music career), “Shape and Sound” tells the next chapter in that story.  Nicholson himself says, “I’m starting to figure out who I am as an artist, and who I am as a family man . No one really ever truly figures it out but I’m no longer wet behind the ears in either vocation, so I only have myself to blame for any short comings.. I truly have an understanding of my strengths and weaknesses in both fields. Instead of holding up my hands  I’m working at my weaknesses to be a better musician, a better producer, a better husband and father. It’s paying dividends. This album is a result of that internal look I had at myself as an artist,  father, and husband.”

Luke Nicholson

The album that would become “Shape and Sound” had its origins in Nicholson’s travels to Nashville.  “Nashville was a rebirth for my career,” he says. “I arrived with a sense of trepidation and excitement of what lay in store for me but was determined to make a new start. It was to be a measuring stick for who I was as an artist, songwriter, musician. It could have been the end of my story right there but it wasn’t. I immersed myself in Nashville over a course of  2 years. And the thing that I took away from that first visit was ‘I belonged’ – I could hold my own with some of the best songwriters the world has to offer. I know it sounds egotistical but it is how I felt and still feel, self doubt in this industry kills! I was really reeling after my last record and started to feel bitterness towards myself and the industry in Canada as a whole. I needed to make a move to shake up my career and my way of doing things. Nashville could have been my final chapter but it wasn’t, I performed, I wrote, and was inspired. I left Nashville knowing 3 things.  I’m on my path,  I have a long road ahead of me but willing to do the work, and  I’ll be back. I’ve spent these last 2 years with this mantra.”

As part of that growth process, Nicholson has begun to expand his horizons as a musician as well as a songwriter, and can glimpse the rewards ahead for that effort: “I’ve started to write more, practice more, tour more.  I’ve even learned to play other instruments. I guess I now see the mountain in front of me for what it is; a long climb to the top. And I know even if I never get there it was one hell of a journey and I’m better for it.”

“Shape and Sound” is a picture, then, of this stage of Nicholson’s journey, both personal and musical.  Of the title, he says, “The title came first, and really molded the record. I wanted to shape every sound, every note of this record. It was a statement to myself. I wanted to put my fingerprint on it. I didn’t outsource any players for this album except 2 tracks (bass and drums). 99 percent of the album was played by myself or Martyn Skrypzyk in our home studios. We sang every note and worked out all harmonies together.  I personally played guitar, bass, ukulele, banjo, piano, mandolin, percussion, etc., etc… and because of that it is an album I can say is truly ours and mine. In the past I used session players for recording, and let them create there own moments, however when listening to those records, as good as they might be..they aren’t my moments. I would have played the bass differently, I would have chosen a different guitar tone, and so forth. This album is my Shape and Sound.”

So enjoy Luke Nicholson’s “Shape and Sound” in its entirety before it releases next week.

Like what you hear? Pre-order “Shape and Sound” here.

Visit Luke Nicholson’s website.


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