Danni Nicholls return to recorded action, sees her staring out at the viewer from the cover, it's a gaze that it is hard to break away from and seems to convey that she is about lay something serious on us! The gentle orchestral opening to "Little Fictions" in no way gives you an inkling of what is to follow over the next four minutes, with a single that can only be described as jaw droppingly good. Co-written with Rebekah Powell who worked so memorably with Ward Thomas & Sarah Darling, this firmly qualifies as something of an epic!
The strings eventually fade to leave Danni in fine voice along with her acoustic guitar and a piano, in something of a contemplative mood.
"Immovable constellation - a sky of contradictions
I'm terrified of wishing for more
It was beautiful but now its different
I've been dreaming Little Fictions losing my conviction"
The "Little Fictions" of the song being the nagging voices of doubt that make us deviate from what we instinctively feel. It's a big concept to try to pull off in a song yet the pair have managed to do it while at the same time imbuing the lyrics with a sense of poetry.
"Can't blame the stars for not alligning
Can't blame the path for how its winding
Or blame fate for its bad timing
Choosing someone else"
The final line of the chorus where Danni accepts that she must realise "not to blame myself" is telling - the word "myself" is wonderfully stretched and sustained.
The second verse is even more poetic
"Painfully unforgiving I gathered all the wreckage and made it into weapons, they dared me
That brutal knife in my own hand, can't save my life - It's not who I am"
The second visit to the chorus sees the intensity building, not least Danni's vocals which are barely getting started.
The final climax sees Danni all but raise the roof, in a powerful finale, pure singing ability with no need for any X Factor hystrionics, just simply magnificent singing. It closes with Danni taking ownership, solemnly fading on "I won't blame myself" before hitting a final chord on her guitar.
"Little Fictions" comes in 4 versions, as well as the original, there is a "Piano and Strings" version - which removes Danni's guitar which was hardly offensive, yet once subtracted the results do make it a worthwhile exercise, as the whole song seems to become even more sumptuous, the strings becoming even more rich and dramatic. The final 2 versions are instrumental versions which seems something of a sacriledge given Danni's magnificent efforts however it does allow the listener a chance to hear how this beautiful piece of music has been constructed.
For her first outing in the Producers chair the results are nothing short of remarkable and leaves you desperate to see this finest of performers in the flesh once more, which is handy as Danni's much postponed tour is due to restart immminently - this song alone seems set to have building inspectors checking the foundations of the venues once Danni has packed up and gone!
https://www.danninicholls.com/shows - For ticket links