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Laura Nickel - 'That July'

The Covid-19 pandemic was a period that caused upheaval in people's lives and careers. While we are learning to get up again, there is no mistaking the potentially lifelong effects the pandemic has had on us. Indeed, there are some professions that are impacted more than others, and the musical profession is one of them. But heroes come in various forms: rather than choosing to weep and gnash their teeth, the passionately driven choose to channel the fever and pain towards something joyfully constructive. The end result is a song that puts into perspective the joys of old and the hope that those days will return. This is precisely what singer-songwriter Laura Nickel achieved with her playfully nostalgic and near-flawless single, "That July." Written in the key of B-flat Major, "That July" was composed during the first pandemic lockdown and serves as the first single from Nickel's debut album, "Dusty Houses." The song is arranged in the realms of contemporary folk and reggae-infused pop. Simply put, it is a dreamy standout in terms of its sheer playfulness and whimsicality, paying homage to the gamut of emotions one likely experienced while reminiscing and simultaneously hoping for the return of bygone days.

The lyrics themselves are charmingly affable, poignant, and down-to-earth, as illustrated in lines such as "Take me to that July... when onion skins were the only thing to make us cry." However, it is Nickel's impeccable rendition of the lyrics, aided by her own reverb-infused backing vocals, production, and mixing, that truly infuse this song with a soul of its own. The song is full of the aforementioned playfulness, interspersed with samples of her own laughter and a certain pragmatism, as illustrated during the bridge. Nickel's sheer versatility in terms of range, dynamics, and powers of expression is on full display here. Another interesting point to note is the clever and creative chordal arrangement, which switches between contemporary chord progressions and lesser-known ones in tandem with the lyrical themes, giving the song a fitting sound. The instrumental arrangement incorporates elements of reggae and folk, with the staccato chords on the piano providing a sense of lively mischief, while the ever-reliable acoustic guitars propel the song without ever losing energy or playfulness at any point. Overall, the song is an ode to gratitude, friendship, and hope, successfully drawing the listener into the songwriter's world through lively lyrics and creative vocals. At a duration of three minutes and forty-five seconds, "That July" is an inspiringly wonderful addition to the contemporary folk and pop genres, especially considering the backdrop against which the song emerged. Its capacity to effortlessly establish a connection with the listener regarding one of the most life-changing occurrences of our time, all while maintaining a delightful playfulness and remarkable absence of gloom or pessimism, is what makes the song a winner in its own right.


About Laura Nickel Laura Nickel is an indie singer-songwriter known for her descriptive lyrics and memorable melodies. Her music reflects her personal experiences and serves as a roadmap of her journey. With a background in piano and guitar, Laura began writing songs at the age of sixteen and has since released an EP titled "Blue Skies" and her debut album, "Dusty Houses." Based in Nashville, TN, she continues to create music that encourages self-reflection and emotional exploration.


#LauraNickel #ThatJuly #SummerSongs #MusicReview

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