Independent singer-songwriter Nicole Springer channels her inner Janis with her band on their debut EP titled Willing, proving to the world that rock ‘n roll is definitely not dead. The artist channeled different influences from Creedence Clearwater Revival to Motown to create an album that was not only lyrically personal, but also nostalgic and fresh within its sound. She also took a lot of the inspiration from personal life and struggle when writing the tracks for Willing.
It hasn’t always been easy for the Missouri native. After being shunned by her family for being gay, she took a musical hiatus on a journey of self discovery. Finally, after completely severing ties with an estranged family member, she got back to writing. From there came to fruition the lead single of the EP, “Hell.” She sings, “You’re hardly a stranger, I know you too well, surprised when it burns, when I know all about hell,” to a guitar riff reminiscent of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird” with its own modern Pop-Folk twist.
Not only is Nicole a hell of a lyricist, but she also has an impressive three octave range. Earlier this year, she was a 2019 Pitch KC nominee for Best Vocalist in Kansas City. She showcases this amazingly on “Purposes,” an optimistic and upbeat track that talks about the passions and love she was meant to give. It’s a track that vocally progresses within her range, and then leads into a killer guitar solo.
From there, we continue to feel the raw vulnerability in “Come Clean,” quite possibly my favorite song on Willing. It’s a song about honesty and not holding back, opening up about the past to build the trust for the future. The buildup in the melody and beat further adds character to the emotion behind the lyrics. The EP then closes on a high note with, “I’ll Never Be a Bitter Woman,” a song that shows the maturity gained from the artist’s past experiences.
Overall, the album emotionally captivates us with a Pop-Folk sound that has hints of Rock ‘n Roll and Americana. It’s refreshing to hear the influences behind the band, while they maintain their unique sound. Willing will be digitally released this month on 11/16/19. In the meantime, make sure to check out their social media below!