Taylor Ashton, founding member of the Canadian alt-folk band Fish & Bird, showcases his groove on “Nicole,” the latest single from his forthcoming solo debut, The Romantic. On the track, Ashton, an incredibly versatile and talented musician, imagines a world where catastrophic disasters and human progress can all be rewound in the name of innocence and simplicity. He cleverly compares reversing the effects of pollution in putting the “smoke back in the smoke stack” to turning back the clock on a broken relationship. The desperate line “You are coming home for good this time” rings alongside a sweet groove provided by Mali Obomsawin (Lula Wiles) on upright bass, Alec Spiegelman (Ana Egge, Cuddle Magic) on piano, John Fatum on drums and Ashton on banjo. The chorus of “Ooohh-Ooo Nicole” in this mid-tempo folk groove illustrates Ashton’s innate ability to drill a melody in your head and imagine a happy ending in an unlikely scenario.
“Nicole is a song about fantasizing that you could rewind time. For example, I have vivid memories of a time when the internet only seemed like a good thing and a benefit to our lives, and it just feels too big to try to put it back into its old box, when it didn’t seem like such a source of distraction, lies, and division. The seal is broken – we can’t go back to being a society that is free of those things, we can only try to evolve forward. The same thing can happen in relationships – something breaks and you can’t go back to the same innocent place you were at before. But you’re stuck with this memory of a home you can never go back to – this song is the dream where everything is back to normal, just before you wake up.” – Taylor Ashton
The Romantic is due out on February 28 via Signature Sounds Recordings and available for pre-order now.