Reviewed by Inda Yansané

Louisa Nicklin: You Are Here EP

Reviewed by Inda Yansané

Louisa Nicklin: You Are Here EP

‘You Are Here’ by Auckland-based composer and saxophonist Louisa Nicklin could be described as ‘dark Judee Sill lost in space’ music.

Whilst Nicklin’s songs and voice are obviously different from Sill’s, they have the same apparent dreaminess at first, only to later reveal their earthiness.

The saxophone’s melodic lines are subtle and demonstrate that it can always add depth and refinement to folk music – or popular music in general – without resorting to any ‘piña colada in a sky blue robe by the pool’ excess.

Nicklin, who also plays in Moses, masters her instrument and adjusts its tones to suit her songs, rather than the opposite. Her composing skills also show she can blithely build bridges between contemporary classical and folk genres.

The production is sometimes overbearing with the constant ambient echo tending to distract the listener from the core of the opus. The ambitious sonic pursuit of ‘You Are Here’ is worthwhile but only if it lets itself be known – and too many studio effects mask rather than reveal it.

Note that this is a very, very short EP. It sounds like an introduction to Nicklin’s songwriting work more than an actual release.

There is a clear thread between the three songs which constitute a journey in themselves – but most listeners will need more material to embark and embrace the artist’s full musical palette.

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