From the age of five, Texas-born singer-songwriter Amber Nicholson knew her life would revolve around music.
Originally envisioning a future as a classically trained concert pianist, Nicholson’s aspirations grew to encompass all types of performance. Over the course of her career, she’s collected accolades as a critically acclaimed singer and songwriter, using her creative skills both to perform and to educate others.
After spending time as the co-founder and singer of indie band Relick, Nicholson’s new solo EP, Far Away Dreaming, dropped this past Friday, February 24, launching her into the next phase of her musical career.
Co-produced by Nicholson and Jacob Meador – who also engineered the project – at Orchestrate Sound in Needville, Texas, these five original songs highlight Nicholson’s jazzy chops and soul-bearing lyricism.
Kicking off the EP is the highly groovy and blues-soaked track “Heart to Stone.” The tone is set from the needle drop, as she sings about hardening up and moving on from a previous relationship, but seemingly doing so without much fuss or trouble.
Her single and the EP’s second track, “Far Far Far,” gives listeners a taste of what’s to come, and from this track alone we get a sense of her extensive background in performance. Gentle, jazzy piano lilts under Nicholson’s sultry vocals as she embraces the art of moving forward. She returns to this idea that, “The person I became is someone far far far / Away from you,” showcasing both her artistic and emotional growth.
The rest of the EP celebrates similar themes of love, loss, and perseverance, ultimately encouraging herself and her audience to embrace living in the moment and let go of that which no longer serves you. Her vocal range is as impressive as her instrumentation, finding footing in a retro sensuality that’s complemented by a soothing orchestral backing.
The album features Nicholson on piano and vocals, and draws inspiration from Norah Jones, Allen Toussaint, Allison Krauss, Gram Parsons, Regina Spektor, and more. With Nolan Burke on guitar, Randy Well on organ, Dan Smith on the bass, Aimee Norris on the cello, and Tyson Sheth on the drums, Far Away Dreaming explores the depth of Nicholson’s musical journey, making her way from classical piano to a more modern, contemporary sound.
She insists, “I make music because it’s a safe place to let myself go,” and in doing so, she invites all those who listen to let go a little too.