From the moment she first started playing piano, when she was roughly 5 years old, Texas musician Amber Nicholson felt attuned to the curious energies of the instrument. With initial visions of becoming a classically trained concert pianist, she threw herself into learning the ins and outs of every key, hammer, and pedal. Upon further reflection, this dream shifted slightly, her interest broadening into something that encapsulated a wider musical perspective. Driven by the influence of artists like Gram Parsons, Aretha Franklin, Lee Dorsey, and Little Willie John, she developed a sound as natural and intimate as it is strikingly poignant.
Her aesthetic trajectory has also been heavily informed by her time studying jazz vocal music while she was at the University of North Texas – leading her to perform in various local clubs and lounges and tour with different cover bands throughout the American Southwest and Canada. It was during this time that she co-founded the indie rock band Relick, going on to record and release a handful of albums and EPS before deciding to veer away to focus solely on her own music. And we’ll soon have a better glimpse into her world with the upcoming EP, Far Away Dreaming, due out February 24.
Her new single “Far Far Far” reveals just how attentive she has been to those inspirations, delivering an elegant and lithe piano groove while delivering a treatise on how sometimes you just need to move on – sometimes a relationship isn’t going to work no matter how much time and effort you put into it, and you just need to close that chapter and try to find your happiness somewhere else. Musically, the song explores the knotty melodies of Randy Newman and the jazzy movements of Norah Jones, with some ragtime thrown in for good measure. It certainly evokes a hazy nostalgia for calmer days while doling out heaps of empowerment and deceptively buoyant lyrical passages.
“I wrote this song on an anniversary I chose to spend alone and realized I was ultimately much happier that way,” says Nicholson. “It’s about seeing someone in a new light, not necessarily a good one, but accepting the situation for what it is and being grateful for that clarity.“