When it all boils down to it, music generally falls into two categories, music intended to make you listen and music intended to make you move.
There are obvious examples in the genres of music, classical is music to listen to and absorb, while pop and dance is for the feet, an expression of joy. What we have here is an album firmly in the former, there is very little to move to (unless you count being moved emotionally) so find a comfy chair and take a listen.
Songs are a little like cycling, the slower you go, the more difficult it becomes, every note and decision is crucial, every mistake exposed and those empty spaces either need to be filled or allowed to breathe. A tricky feat by anybody’s standard and it’s done here beautifully.
What Danni Nicholls does so well is use her voice to draw you in, give you a comfortable position to hear the stories until you feel like you are on that same journey, sharing experiences and, ultimately, sharing the heartbreak and victories.
It’s a quiet, subtle album, one that, like the title suggests, suits those early hours just as the sun is coming up, don’t rush into these songs, allow them to reveal themselves over time and the rewards are there.
‘Losing It’ has the knack of becoming better and better each time you hear it and it leads nicely into the Gospel-inspired ‘Hear Your Voice’ before the album dips under the water again with the middle tracks ‘Wish I Were Alone’, ‘Frozen’ and the every-cloud-has-a-silver-lining ‘Lemonade’. ‘Power To leave’ features a wonderful brass band and it’s those important decisions that sit throughout the album that gives it that advantage over a lot of what is coming through in the British Americana scene.
Personally, I would have liked a little more change in tempo here and there but I think doing that would have changed the character of the album too much and being able to hear Nicholls’ impressive voice clearly throughout is a joy.
If you like music intended for your ears, give this a listen, there are definite rewards within these songs, but if your idea of music is drums, guitar and foot-stomping, you’ll miss the point entirely.