Published Oct 25, 2011A lot has changed for Ida Nilsen since releasing her Great Aunt Ida project's sophomore disc, How They Fly, back in 2006. But while displacing herself from Vancouver to Toronto, swapping jobs and settling down into the married life, the singer-songwriter's upcoming LP, Nuclearize Me, is full of the familiar softened sounds that thrilled us five years back.
A press release describes Nilsen's return to the music world as a "confessional response to the many changes in the songwriter's life," with opening number "Your Window" reading like a private diary entry. "Nilsen's character addresses a lover and reflects on the faces passed on solitary city walks," the statement reads of the ballad, which is full of Nilsen's delicate piano musings and a swathe of sky-reaching pedal steel.
"New Information" kicks things up a notch with a steady backbeat, while "Romance" is informed by '50s pop. You can stream the full album, which drops December 6 on the Zunior label, below.
Recorded at Ottawa's Bullhorn Production studio by Dave Draves (Kathryn Calder, Gentleman Reg), Nuclearize Me spotlights Nilsen's dynamic and delightfully piano work, but also features a handful of guest appearances. Vancouver scene veteran Ford Pier tackled the disc's horn arrangements, while Juno winner Jesse Zubot (Zubot & Dawson, Fond of Tigers) handled the string section. Bass and backing vocals come courtesy of the Rheostatics Tim Vesely, and Barry Mirochnick (Neko Case, Veda Hille) laid down the drums.
While the tunes are said to often be a little sad, Nuclearize Me is apparently both "fragile and self-assured," with the song cycle revealing "a depth of understanding and sense of hope and wonder."
Great Aunt Ida have yet to announce a full tour for Nuclearize Me, but Nilsen will return to Vancouver for a record release show at the Waldorf Hotel on December 29.
Nuclearize Me by Great Aunt Ida