October 30, 2015 Nikki’s Wives – For E-V-E-R (Album Review)
Toronto based Alt-pop group Nikki’s Wives are young, driven, and are ready to take on the world. Vocalist Nikki Whitehead struggled to find people she could really collaborate and mesh well with until she met Dylan Lauzon (guitar) and Nate Baylor (drums). Mixing their youthful energy, they created a unique musical path that has a raw openness and vulnerability. They have played pretty big gigs, booking Fox News, NBC, and several festivals, so they were ready to take on the next big step. Actually releasing an EP! Joining with Mary Ramsey of John & Mary as well as 10,000 Maniacs (violin, viola), Phil Sims (trombone), Kate Weissman (cello), Tim Clarke (trumpet), Jay Hodgson (bass), Eric Wozniak (saxophone chameleon), and Richie English (string and horn arrangement/composition), their EP, For E-V-E-R, showcases what one can expect from a full-length album.
The EP focuses on obsession and all the feelings that come along with it, like desire and jealousy. It takes a lot of inspiration from slow Jazz and ’80s Pop; a unique mix which really makes it their own. The first song, “For ever,” starts with a sound like that of a carnival freak show, which makes its eerie and weirdly sexual at the same time. It is about the initial realization of an obsession and how it consumes everything in one’s mind. “Lonely Being Cool” uses the Synth aspect very strongly in the song along with a main theme of how she can be seen as the coolest woman to the men but women will hate her, which makes her ‘lonely being cool.’ “Fight Song” strongly uses the drums versus the previous song. The lyrics very much follow the title of the song. It continues the obsessive nature of how one would do anything for the one they are fixated with. “Another Lie” is about coming to realize that everything was a lie and moving on. The entertaining part is the use of the violin, tambourine, saxophone, and organ when one would not expect it. “Fantasize” sticks with the piano leading the melody and it is unique as well as fun among the rest of the instruments along with Whitehead’s vocals.
The EP ends with single “Ghost,” which they released a lyric video for last month, and is the slowest tempo on the album, using a slow beat on the drum and a Jazz bar-like piano sound. It really showcases Whitehead’s voice since the beat around it is so simply played. The song itself is about remembering what had happened, acknowledging it, and finally just walking away. It will not ever fully be gone, but it will simply be a “Ghost.”
Whitehead has a powerful voice that reminds one of a mix of Halsey and Lana Del Rey. Her voice meshes well with the slow, teasing tempos luring one into the next song. One can tell that this collaboration they had been hoping to find with each other worked out in the best way. Listeners now anxiously await the full-length album for this exciting band. CrypticRock gives For E-V-E-R 5 out of 5 stars.