Reviewed by The Short Films
I’ve known Nicole Aube for many years. I could be wrong, but I believe the first time we shared a stage was at The Circus Room in Kitchener, maybe six or seven years ago. I distinctly remember her performances back in those days, when Nicole performed solo just using her keyboard and her voice. Although I have not seen her perform live in quite a while, Nicole’s obviously developed some strong musical relationships with the performers on her new album. The musical arrangements are quirky yet broad and sweeping, with a wide range of instrumentation, eastern influences, orchestral flourishes, and non-traditional percussion.
Philosoft features old and new pieces from Nicole’s repertoire, giving old tunes a fresh face-lift, and a new pique of interest. “Ninth Madder Dream” and “Blackbird no 14″ are some of the first songs I ever heard Nicole perform, and I’m glad she’s revived them. Philosoft echoes the work of Sarah Slean’s The Baroness.
The production is quite mature and fully supports the songs without becoming overbearing; although my personal tastes would prefer some heavier, more driving, rhythmic elements in some of the tunes. While I’m discussing my preferences, having heard Nicole’s fabulous voice live, I don’t feel that there is any reason to use auto-tune on her vocal tracks. The auto-tune effect in general has a waining impact on modern alternative music recordings, and this should be noted by any artist releasing music today.
Don’t be deterred by the fact that Aube’s album hails from the Tri-Cities. Philosoft is an extremely professional recording by our Region’s standards. This album, in general, exceeds the quality you would expect from a locally produced project.
Nicole performs at the L-Lounge March 15th!