Excellent mix of self-penned Americana and Post-Folk songs from and for the heart.
If I’m honest I first received this album several weeks ago; but it was immediately appropriated by my Wife who has kept it on heavy rotation in her car ever since, leaving me to play other music.
So; when it’s come to reviewing MONARCH she has demanded the right to edit my words before publication; in case I say something she disagrees with (as if!).
What won her/us over was the very first track – The Roadwhich is an exquisite Folk song given an Americana makeover. It’s a fairly simple song, which would easily be as good if it was just Nicolette playing and singing; but the addition of an organ then an electric guitar then some under stated pedal steel enhancing her beautiful voice makes it a Country song supreme.
The next song, Like a Whisper, Like a Sirenfollows a similar path only this time it’s the subtle drumming, that comes straight out of Western movie that makes a really good love song into a great one.
Of course there is Nicolette’s voice to talk about. She sounds just like….no; she doesn’t sound like anyone else actually. Her voice is sweet and crystal clear, with just the right amount of warble in her throat to make the Americana and Country fans happy but also warm and friendly, so will appeal to crossover fans who only buy one album per year.
The ‘warble’ is used to devastating effect on Call Meas it conjures up memories of Patsy Cline at her finest on a song that will haunt me for years to come.
As a songwriter; Nicolette runs the gamut of emotions with a couple of happy, danceable songs interspersing some real tearjerkers such as Hurricane Caroline; which wouldn’t be out of place on an Emmylou Harris album and My Darling Clementine.
In Nicolette Good I think we’ve discovered another Diamond; as her songwriting and storytelling is exceptional and her voice will leave you in a crumbling heap if you listen to her on your own.
If you are old enough you will remember the pantheon of ‘bed-sit’ singer-songwriters from the late 1960’s and early 70’s well, Nicolette Good and MONARCH stand shoulder to shoulder with the best of them and; in my humble opinion, this debut album will immediately bring Nicolette to the attention of the big hitters in the industry, especially the radio stations, if they have any sense.