Nicole Shortland - Ride
Trailed by Nicole Shortland at The Long Road Festival in one of the earliest slots, on one of the smallest stages is her latest single "Ride". On the day she even had to improvise around a band member pulling out at the last minute, however such was the charm and polish in her performance that #TEAMw21 had made a mental note to keep an eye out for this single on its release.
On first listen "Ride" for a large section of the song, just seems to be Nicole and an acoustic guitar however there is actually lots going on with inventive backing harmonies and phrasing that elevate it to another level.
It opens in upbeat fashion with that acoustic guitar and Nicole laying out her current position
"You make me shy, boy - and I haven't felt this lucky in a while
How when you smile, boy - you make my head spin round and round"
Nicole breaks up each line by extending the word prior to saying the word "boy", however the initial giddiness of the opening couple of lines is tempered by the next lines of caution which give Nicole time to consider before leaping in!
"We're only getting older - nights are getting colder - looking for someone to hold me down
So just put in your application, in 5 to 7 days well you'll find out if I'm down"
The chorus sees the arrival of some subtle additional instrumentation with an additional guitar and some percussion
"To ride by your side - be right by your side - Oh what a prize to ride by your side" -
Nicole lifts the chorus by elongating the words "side" and "prize".
The second verse sees Nicole's prospective beau seemingly gain approval.
"You're like a dream boy - something about you makes me feel so wild
Know what I mean boy? - You make my world spin round in half the time
You're the only one I'm craving - only one I'm chasing
Think it's time to let you know - since you put in your application
It's been 7 days and - I don't want to take it slow!"
The second chorus sees more instruments join, a faint banjo maybe, it also sees Nicole's vocals expanded further.
There then follows a nice little bridge that neatly showcases Nicole's pop country vocal credentials as she gently shifts through the gears with a feeling of elation.
"It's been too long - too many days I've held on - when I want to take you home and make you mine
I've been so strong, so many days I've held on, but now I want to take you home and make you mine"
The final section sees the overlapping of vocals to great effect - it all goes to make a fine debut country single.