Nicky William - 'Set Your Loved Ones Free, We Have You Surrounded'
So we're trying to keep the momentum going on longer releases, and will keep trying to do shorter reviews of albums rather than individual singles. Today's review focusses on Swedish singer songwriter Nicky William, who I'd probably describe as 'Alternative Folk', and he has released an album which is intriguingly entitled 'Set Your Loved Ones Free, We Have You Surrounded'. It's well worth listening to as well, as William has distinct convincing vocals that have touch of nostalgia about them, whilst he writes pretty decent sounding pop songs too.
Nicky William is just 22, and he comes from Oxelösund, which for those of you in the UK is a small city at Sweden's coast to the Baltic Sea. From a musical household, William started songwriting at a really early age, inspired by the likes of Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan, and there is a very natural sounding influence in his vocals from those artists - which also gives him an apparent maturity, along with his adept songwriting skills.
'Set Your Loved Ones Free, We Have You Surrounded' is just 7 tracks long, but that seems to work just fine. In particular the album seems to work because each of those tracks seems individual, even those I don't like as much such as 'Girls With Common Names' have a quirky feel to them. And there are some great pop gems amongst the rest of them: '#1 Sad Guy' gently introduces us to the soulful vocals, but 'Medicine' (even if I'm never a big fan of expletives in songs like this) has such catchy melody with well judged backing instrumentation too. I really like the guitar riff that carries 'The Safest Place' along, whilst 'Hurricane' is another catchy pop track at a good tempo, and the vocals just seem so at home in a track like this.
I guess I'm hear to give opinions, and it's safe to say that this isn't entirely a style of music that i would instinctively listen to - but the sentimental tinged with melancholy vocals that could come out of any era will be appealing to many, and there is probably a 'commercial' aspect to his voice that could allow Nicky William to flourish. And there is no doubt that he can write really good songs, upbeat catchy pop tracks such as 'Hurricane' will do down really well at by:Larm (where he's due to appear), and if he can capture the audience on stage he could be a huge hit one the festival scene.