Jodie Nicholson

Jodie Nicholson

Jodie Nicholson

Event Details

Date: Thursday 6 June 2024

Doors: 7:30pm

Price: £10

Ages: 16+

“My new obsession… harmonies to die for!” – Sian Eleri (BBC Radio 1)

“Nicholson is shaking off the shackles of genre expectations and coming into her own” – American Songwriter

“The Teesside songwriter is crafting her sound, one impressive release at a time… her goal isn’t so much to sound like her influences, but rather to create like them” – NARC. Magazine

North East writer/producer Jodie Nicholson’s sophomore album ‘Safe Hands’ is ultimately about self trust, in both an introspective and creative sense. Across twelve tracks, Nicholson uses brooding chamber-pop and synth-laden alt-pop to navigate many of the different relationships we have in our lives: friends, family, relationships with ourselves and, more personally, her changing relationship with music.

After self-producing her new album, Jodie enlisted Oli Deakin (CMAT, Elanor Moss, Benjamin Francis Leftwich) for mixing and Katie Tavini (Arlo Parks, Liz Lawrence, Sega Bodega) for mastering. From infectious, anthemic tracks like Another Frequency and You Wanted This, to more spacious, melancholic tracks like Love I’m On Fire and What If I; ‘Safe Hands’ takes the listener on intimate journeys of minimalism and melancholy through to blooming, euphoric ends. Nicholson’s signature rich harmonies and ethereal, reed-like vocals remain a compelling constant.

Exploring themes of escapism, nostalgia, self-reflection and changes of heart, Nicholson leans on musical influences including Daughter, Matt Corby, The National, Warpaint, Lucy Rose and Laura Marling. There are also nods to her prog-rock upbringing and 80s inspired outros that wouldn’t sound out of place on the soundtracks to Drive and Stranger Things.

Nicholson’s journey to this point in her musical career hasn’t necessarily followed a typical narrative. She self-released her debut album ‘Golden Hour’ in 2019, a collection of songs she’d written and performed across Darlington’s live music circuit since the age of 16. It wasn’t meant to be the start of something. If anything, it was meant to provide closure and act as an archive of songs for people who’d enjoyed seeing her live in her hometown.

Before long, Jodie had industry interest and was picking up lots of regional BBC introducing support – which led to her first national airplay courtesy of Jo Whiley on BBC Radio 2. Just as momentum was building, the covid pandemic struck. And as much as Jodie feels a bit guilty admitting this: lockdown was a pretty good time for her.

After being awarded funding from Help Musicians, Nicholson began working remotely with producer Tim Bran (London Grammar, Aurora, Birdy), with breakthrough single Move being the first release to emerge from their Zoom sessions. The electronic track was a departure from Jodie’s acoustic sound and picked up widespread acclaim including the BBC Radio 6 Music playlist, extensive support from BBC Radio 1 and tastemaker coverage from American Songwriter, Record of the Day and Audiofemme to name but a few.

Lockdown also afforded Nicholson the time and space to return to her design roots. Having studied Printed Textile Design at Leeds Arts University and freelanced as a Trend Researcher throughout the making of ‘Golden Hour’, Jodie explored ways to synergize her music with her art – learning animation for Move’s music video and designing her own cover art and merch to stand hand-in-hand with the music.

Nicholson’s ‘Can’t Escape The Feeling’ EP followed in 2021, supported by PRS Foundation’s Women Make Music Fund. The four tracks showcased the explorative nature of Jodie’s sound, incorporating both the electro soundscapes of Move and the acoustic elements of ‘Golden Hour’, yielding more BBC Radio 1 airplay and Nicholson’s first Spotify editorial playlist support.

Following the return of live shows, Nicholson performed her first ever gig outside of her native North East: on the mainstage at Wilderness Festival no less, opening up for Jamie XX and Bicep. No pressure. More festivals followed for the soloist including All Points East, Cambridge Folk, Alt-Escape, Live At Leeds and Liverpool Sound City, before Northern Music Trust commissioned Nicholson to form a band and headline Sage 2 for their debut show.

Since then, the four-piece became the first performers at Sunderland’s flagship venue The Fire Station, played Nicholson’s first UK headline tour as part of Independent Venue Week 2022 and performed at Y Not, Generator Live and Twisterella. Further live highlights for Jodie have included sold-out shows with the likes of Emeli Sandé, Tom Rosenthal, Bernard Butler, Highasakite, Nerina Pallot, The Howl & The Hum, Siv Jakobsen and Skinny Living.

Using 2023 to focus on a new body of music and hone her craft as a producer, Nicholson was awarded a place at F-List & Miloco Studios’ ‘Culture of Belonging Weekend’ with The Anchoress and Dr. Isobel Anderson and used The Glasshouse ICM’s ‘Summer Studios’ residency to finesse her new songs before heading into Blank Studios in Newcastle. ‘Safe Hands’ is Nicholson’s most ambitious and cohesive collection of recordings to date, marking the culmination of 3 years writing and her first body of music to be recorded in a professional studio.

Offstage, Nicholson has cultivated a longstanding connection with her fans, sharing regular behind the scenes updates and things she’s loving across life and music via her monthly newsletter ‘6 Things’. Nicholson also openly shares her experiences as a northern, female musician and champions the North East as a thriving, creative region, having been a panelist at Manchester’s Unconvention and Twisterella’s (Un)Conference, as well as being on the assessment team for Sentric’s Academy Fund and a member of Generator’s Youth Advisory Board.

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