Living In Colour is Shane Nicholson’s 11th studio album.
Four years on from his last studio album Love and Blood, country luminary Shane Nicholson arrives with his latest album Living In Colour, which sees the three-time ARIA Award and 11-time Golden Guitar winning artist at his very best.
Entering his third decade of an illustrious recording career, Nicholson bares it all in his 11th release, which is both a celebration of music and a fine testament to life’s highs and lows.
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Showcasing the esteemed musician in different hues, the album is a heartfelt journey for Nicholson. From trusting and cynical, father and friend, and sometimes buoyant and in love, his lyrics also take us to where he was beginning to have faith in the world, as well as times he’s struggling to make sense of the same world that can rip your heart right out.
“It’s been a pretty sad couple of years to be frank, losing one of my best mates to suicide, grandparents, my partner lost her dad, my manager lost his brother, a few close industry friends,” Nicholson reveals.
“And then in the first Covid lockdown there was this crazy spate of musician suicides in Australia, people that we’d all known.”
With unwaveringly honest lyricism, Nicholson’s stresses and anxieties come to the fore in frank and open songs like ‘Simple Man’ and ‘House Burns Down’, before exploring the brutal truth of a damaging relationship in ‘Ain’t Been Loved’.
‘And You Will Have Your Way’ is an almost-jaunty shuffle that disguises some deep questions about who to trust, and who to love; while ‘The High Price of Surviving’ acknowledged the bittersweetness of life.
‘Life Ain’t Fine’ starts with Nicholson stating that he can’t write a love song but it’s not for want of trying – and then it becomes clear that ‘Life Ain’t Fine’ is, in fact, a love song, although it’s one about losing that love.
Armed with an array of instruments, the album was written and recorded in a studio on NSW’s Central Coast by Nicholson alone due to the ongoing COVID restrictions, while balancing life and producing several other artist’s projects at the same time.
“I just found it fun to be doing it myself. It was sort of a return to the old days, my teenage years, when I had my first Pro-Tools set up on old computer and I was making demos and putting songs together, learning about the mechanics of production in a bedroom in Brisbane in my parents’ house,” he says.
“I haven’t really done that since then, being able to sit there by myself and pick up instrument after instrument. It was mostly me and a bottle of whiskey into the night, that was it.”
Help came at the beginning and the end of the process, with Josh Schuberth recording the drums in his own studio in the Blue Mountains, over which Shane laid all the other parts, and then “comrade in arms” and fellow producer Matt Fell adding his tweaks to the finished product.
A rare talent who has bridged the gap between alt-country and the mainstream, this album captures Nicholson’s charismatic talent for writing striking songs that pay tribute to the unpredictability of human experience, with the ability to wrap up difficult subject matters with music of uplifting beauty and charm.
It’s an incredible 11th record from Nicholson, a magnetic talent who has enjoyed the highest accolades in the Australian music scene, and from what we can see, he’s not done yet.
Shane Nicholson will tour Living In Colour in Victoria 2022, taking to Bundalaguah on February 3, Mt Macedon on February 4, St Kilda pm February 5 and Archies Creek on February 6. You can purchase tickets here.
Living In Colour is out now. Check out the album below.