One of the best things about writing for a site like this is seeking out new music. It’s even better when that new music is right on your doorstep.
Having been around for some time now, however we must admit, Rachel Nicholas wasn’t on our radar until recently.
After some research, the Wirral-based composer released her debut album, Invisible Girl, back in 2012. Since, her creative output has been sporadic to say the least.
Nicholas‘ next solo endeavour was the single, Ghost. A charming minimalist pop ditty that went beyond the conventional traditions of your usual pop exponents.
Fast forward to 2021 and Nicholas brings us Sloth – the long-awaited follow-up where things take a drastic turn. And for the better.
“Today I don’t feel like doing much/I think I’ll hang upside down,” sings Nicholas, in a playful tone where she proceeds to sing about chewing on leafy greens, living on life boats and sleeping for 15 hours a day (this may explain why we haven’t heard from her in some time).
With an orchestral blast of violins, cellos and double bass, Sloth is something you’d expect the likes of Jenny Hval to come up with. Thankfully, these glorious sounds are only a hop, skip, and jump away, and it’s yet another demonstration of the surprises our fine city of Liverpool continues to produce.
The term prog-pop has been mooted when describing Sloth and it’s difficult to better it. It’s not the jukebox-lurking-balding-old-man-leather-jacket kind of prog, either. Sloth is the type of song that actually injects a bit of get-up-and-go into the genre.
It seems many have had to wait some time for new Rachel Nicholas music, but like they say, patience is a virtue, and with Sloth one of Liverpool’s most elusive experimentalists is back with a vengeance.