Nia Nicholls - Cali Beaches / Waste My Time
Starting the year with a bang is Nia Nicholls with two new singles the much heralded "Cali Beaches" and a little New Year surprise in the shape of "Waste My Time"
The first comes in two parts opening mainly to the accompaniment of a strummed acoustic guitar, with an electric one adding faint embellishments in the background over which Nia lays out the cause of her current insomnia
"It's 3:25, I can't get to sleep
cos when I shut my eyes you haunt my dreams
and I don't want to love you
or be heartbroken by you"
Twisting convention slightly this is not so much a song about dumping or being dumped but more what happens if you choose career over relationship, there are highlights to be had but possibly at the cost of having no-one to share them with.
This is explored in the second part of the song, the big pop chorus with what seems like swathes of guitar and backing vocals and a solid drum beat. as the character ponders on "what could've been.
"I'm scared of sounding selfish and blue, life is good but it is lonely without you".
With Nia's vocals changing between contemplative and reflective on the verses to a more upbeat celebratory, yet realistic assessment about the price of success in the choruses, she pulls off the vocal duality required by the song.
The second single "Waste My Time" is something of a departure for Nia, in that she has provided the lyrics to a backing track rather than writing the whole song herself although this song does seem well matched suiting Nia's style."Waste My Time" is a withering put down of someone just a little to controlling and full of themselves.
"You're good at telling lies and hollow goodbyes
and I bet you thought I'd lose it
You're good at playing girls you know you don't deserve
You gain our trust and you abuse it"
It's a pithy, sassy litlte number and there's a little moment after one of the "You're good at telling lies" towards the end that Nia let's out a dismissive "huh" that simply makes the whole track a success.