A lot has happened in the life of Toronto musician Luke Nicholson in the two years since the release of his acclaimed record Satellites. Most notably, Nicholson is a happily married man now which has, not surprisingly, become a running theme throughout his newest record, the pop-infused Mad Love.
Produced by drummer/percussionist Roger Tavassos (Nelly Furtado, Jacksoul) with songwriting assistance from Royal Wood and Adam King, Nicholson will be the first to tell you that he feels Mad Love is possibly the most accurate representation of his work to date.
He is set to perform at Plan B Lounge, located at 212 St. George Street, Friday night. The show time is set for 8 p.m. as part of Musik Central’s The Fall of Rock. His show will be followed by a performance by local band Rockabilly Rednecks.
“In the past, I have never gone into making my records with having a theme that was central to the songs,” Nicholson explains. “But with Mad Love, the whole concept of the record was to try to make an album where the songs do happen to share a theme. When I was writing this record, it just happened to coincide with me having gotten engaged and then married. It is a record that is centred all on relationships.”
Nicholson’s journey into wedded bliss opened him up in new ways. Not only did he grow as a person in the last few years, he also grew as a songwriter, venturing into new musical territory including ballads. It was only after the record was completed that Nicholson suddenly realized that perhaps he had shared too much of his personal life with listeners.
“I really opened myself up with this record; that will be obvious to anyone who listens to it. But then, it dawned on me one day that maybe I was saying too much. While I don’t go into too much detail with lyrics, my wife is fine with the detail that is provided. She likes the fact that she is the girl I am talking about in these songs.”
Though Nicholson might be wearing his heart on his sleeve throughout Mad Love, he kept a level head when it came to the production aspects of the record. He approached the making of the album with some trepidation as he felt that his last studio effort Satellites suffered from having been overproduced and over thought.
“One of my primary concerns going into the making of Mad Love was that it was not a record that would be overproduced,” Nicholson says. “I was very fortunate that my last record did well but felt that there was too much leniency given to letting the album’s producer leave his stamp on everything. I still like the record but looking back on it, I didn’t feel it necessarily represented me as an artist.
“I wanted to be sure that when people hear these new songs played live, whether I am performing solo, as a part of a duo or with a full band, they can put my record on and be given the same experience as they would be given if they saw the live show. It was a conscious effort on my part to be able to duplicate what you hear on record in the context of the live show.”
Article published in the September 21, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript