Today, 3 x time ARIA Award and 11 x Golden Guitar winning Shane Nicholson releases his new album Living In Colour along with the official video for his Top 15 Country single ‘And You Will Have Your Way.’
Living In Colour is Shane Nicholson in different hues: trusting and cynical, father and friend, sometimes buoyant and in love, beginning to have faith in the world, other times struggling to make sense of the same world that can rip your heart right out.
Shane is a man remaking himself constantly. “That’s exactly me to a T. I guess in some ways that’s good: I have more positive days than I used to, and that probably spills over into songs now and then,” he says. “It’s been a pretty sad couple of years to be frank, losing one of my best mates to suicide, grandparents, my partner lost her dad, my manager lost his brother, a few close industry friends. And then in the first Covid lockdown there was this crazy spate of musician suicides in Australia, people that we’d all known.”
You can hear the stresses and anxieties in frank and open songs like Simple Man and The High Price Of Surviving and feel the brutal truth of a damaging relationship in Ain’t Been Loved. But it’s not the full story. The “internal struggle to stay happy” was balanced by his partner, his kids, his house and studio and Shane will tell you that “I feel lucky”. After all, even though he claims in one song here that “I can’t write a love song”, there’s a lot of it about. “There’s more love creeping into the songs but maybe that’s the 40s,” he grins.
Living In Colour was written and recorded in Shane’s Central Coast studio pretty much on his own due to Covid restrictions, while also producing 4-5 other artists projects at the same time. “I just found it fun to be doing it myself. It was sort of a return to the old days, my teenage years, when I had my first Pro-Tools set up on old computer and I was making demos and putting songs together, learning about the mechanics of production in a bedroom in Brisbane in my parents’ house,” he says excitedly. “I haven’t really done that since then, being able to sit there by myself and pick up instrument after instrument. It was mostly me and a bottle of whiskey into the night, that was it.”
Help came at the beginning and the end of the process, with Josh Schuberth recording the drums in his own studio in the Blue Mountains, over which Shane laid all the other parts, and then “comrade in arms” and fellow producer Matt Fell adding his tweaks to the finished product.