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Review: Danni Nicholls - A Little Redemption [Album]

Transmission Recordings // "Danni bravely sings her heart out where you can candidly witness someone letting down their guard"

Review   2033 Views
Last Edited by: Chris MUG5 Maguire September 9th, 2013

When a friend recommends something for you to listen to, you know they’re word is good, yet there’s a little reservation, a little something left behind that makes you not want to believe that they’re 100% right. Well, when I was told about the talent of one Danni Nicholls in a bar at the very tip of North Wales by a dear friend, I had no idea how right she was going to be. When I listened to the album for the first time, I was utterly spell bound; jaw dropping Americana floated through my speakers and knocked me for six.

It takes something utterly wonderful to paralyse your writing because you feel you can’t do the album justice, especially as they’re up and coming and all you’ve got is this offering as an example of their ability, but sometimes, that’s what makes music utterly mesmerising. I think the music industry can be cluttered with glam, glitz, paparazzi, gossip and all the other fowl crud that quells the beauty that is immortalised in its crystal form by capturing it on a recording. Danni Nicholls has brought the pure essence of the spectrum of emotion together in one roller coaster of a record entitled A Little Redemption, and she’s done it in such an honest way that you can’t help surrendering and let the whole album wash over you with minimal resistance.

WATCH | Danni Nicholls - 'Hey There, Sunshine'

The album is raw, it’s uncensored, it’s honest and it sings country tinged songs that will earnestly bring a tear to your eye. There’s a whole scope being covered in less than an hour, songs to cheer you up, songs to make you think, songs to make you weep, and songs that speak straight to your heart, bypassing any sense, any form of logic and leaves a lasting impression that will definitely stay with you for years, not days. A quick fix hit isn’t here, and I thank the Lord that’s the case. The fact that hours, days, months, have been spent on these tracks are an absolute credit to music.

Danni hails from Bedford, UK, and took inspiration from her Grandmother’s record collection, and this is truly reflected in her music today. A Little Redemption was recorded in Nashville, which adds another dimension of authentic Americana to this special collection of tracks. She’s wonderfully blended some jazz within the fabric of the music throughout the whole album, adding that extra layer of pathos that’s overwhelmingly pure and very rare these days. Her fudge-like voice flows over the intrinsic score, with the addition of a wallowing clarinet, a dense double bass and a sighing brass section, making the whole album utterly compelling from the first bar to the last note.

LISTEN | Danni Nicholls - 'Goodnight Moon'

Although there are some up tempo tracks, such as ‘Hey There, Sunshine’ and ‘Dragons in the Distance’, which are seriously compelling and adds a lovely effervescent quality to the anthology, Danni is a true master of the ballad. ‘Hey There, Sunshine’ is a heart-warming ditty you can’t help but sing along to it, with its wonderful harmonies and bouncy melodies encompassing sincere joy.

The ballad is definitely Danni Nicholls’ forte, with tracks such as ‘Cold, Hard Light of the Day’ and ‘The Next One’ narrating a tale of a broken heart, where she refuses to give herself up completely by remaining a closed book in order to protect her heart. The fragility of each song is so gently and delicately presented to us it’s nearly impossible not to crumble whilst listening to it. But the best is definitely saved until last, with ‘Goodnight Moon’ being the most wonderful song on the album, where each strum of the guitar is laced with a tear and the echo of longing and absence. Danni narrates a universal story with a beautiful acoustic accompaniment that’s so pure, honest and simple it is nearly impossible not to fall head over heels in love with it. The lamenting brass section envelops the track in a comfort whilst Danni bravely sings her heart out where you can candidly witness someone letting down their guard.

A Little Redemption is definitely in contention for being amongst my 5 nominations for Album of the Year this year, and it’s that little bit extra special being brand spanking new from a refreshing up and coming singer songwriter.

A Little Redemption is out now, so you best go and buy it.

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