NICOLAAS WALLE is set to release a new track, “This Is Me Telling You” on February 25. We were fortunate enough to be given a sneak peak.
I have to say, this may well be the shortest “prog” song I’ve ever come across! With a really interesting, slow start, this song feels as though you’re in for a long ride. Maybe an 8 minute epic. However, “This is Me Telling You” stands at just 2 minutes and 29 seconds.
We’re treated to a real Alan Parsons style introduction. I almost expected something along the lines of The Who, Baba O’Riley or Dream Theater’s “Learning to Live”. This really feels like something to grab a good cup of coffee and settle in.
When the solo guitar comes in, the tone very much put me in mind of Gary Moore – anything from the Still Got The Blues album.
This is a very well played solo with great note choices and some interesting stylings.
The repeated chord sequence feels familiar, its not pulling any punches and lets the listener get comfortable in the song. For a prog song though (the artist cites one of their genres as prog so I’d love to hear more from them), it felt as though it should do a little more.
Vocally I was reminded in places of Amy Winehouse, and I think perhaps “Back to Black” might be an interesting study for the writer in how to make a repeated chord sequence such as this one maintain interest.
When the vocals do come in, they start low. Its not until about 55 seconds in that the vocalist really hits her stride when she hits some higher notes and the backing vocals come in too. Our vocal coach wondered if perhaps she is late teens/ early 20s? It would explain the weakness in the lower notes, and a recommendation for more compression on them, or perhaps adjusting the key, or the first few notes to suit the vocalist might really help. It just felt as though the song lost a little impact when the vocals started.
I did, however, really like the vocals. Her higher notes are sublime and the harmonies were absolutely exquisite and used well for impact in the choruses.
From a production point of view, and of course, only my personal opinion, the overall track could do with a little more compression. Its very quiet compared to other commercial tracks.
I’d give the master a boost around 200Hz for some warmth and more definition in the bass. A boost around 5kHz for more presence and definition and a boost at around 12kHz for some extra brightness and “air”. This should fix what felt to me like a slightly “honky” overall mix.
This Is Me Telling You is an interesting genre crossing song that I think will make a great album track on an album of perhaps longer prog rock, Alan Parsons inspired music. Great stuff.
We give this song 3 ears out of 5