Nick Cody And The Heartache has released a new song, She’s Tough Enough. In collaboration with singer-songwriter Grace Fellows, whose own musical project is called Towse. We’ve been taking a listen here at the Send Me Your Ears Studio.
She’s Tough Enough starts with a lovely little drum fill and then into a comfortable and familiar chord sequence with a repeated simple riff on doubled guitars whose motif continue throughout the track.
Throughout the song, Fellows and Cody, for the most part, take it in turns to sing. When they do harmonise together (with Cody as lead) its a magical combination, reminiscent of Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch.
Fellows voice is vulnerable and gentle, but with some great techniques, especially in her head voice. She reminds us a great deal of Katriona Roberts (Gilmore Roberts, UK) and with just a touch of Alison Krauss.
There’s some good use of incidentals in She’s Tough Enough; gentle little guitar licks and extra vocals sit nicely in the mix.
Lyrically, the song seems to be starting afresh and being strong enough to do so. We like the line; “this world can’t wait for you to play your cards”. It seems as though the song is moving along the same lines as Cody’s actual life where he enjoys promoting artist empowerment and collaboration. Good for you, Nick!
We like how the song remains fairly simple throughout but does manage to have a little progression to maintain interest, with the addition of some long hammond notes later in the song.
She’s Tough Enough is a great example of simple Americana done well. The vocals are up front and present in the mix but not dominating – just what Americana needs as this style of music tends to be all about the lyrics. The backing is recorded well, with nothing dominating and is well mixed.
From a production perspective, we feel that the top three octaves could do with a gradual increase to balance out the overall EQ of the song. There’s very little top end, resulting in a mix that could just do with a little more life and brightness.
Cody is very obviously a seasoned musician, with a great back catalogue of music. His vocals are a mix of country/americana blended with a Bob-Dylan-who-practiced-more kind of sound!! His work with Towse is of particular interest and takes his songs to a whole new level. Great stuff!