Here’s a sound that is warm and full, with rich textures and absorbing musical layers. Cincinnati singer-songwriter Nicholas Johnson displays outstanding songcraft on his new single, ‘Sinner’, which steadily rises, lifted by excellent strings and gorgeous backing vocals. Johnson’s voice is full of emotion when he delivers powerful words, such as: “I’m a sinner cos I hate myself.” Throughout, the lyrics are full of deep feeling: “Take me down, Lord // Back up again // Make me a new man // Make me a new man Cos I’m broken and I don’t care.” Brandon Berry, whose work can be seen on The Discovery Channel, has produced an atmospheric video to accompany the song, which is about finding your own identity and breaking free from the confines of life in a small town.
This is the first single from brand new album ‘Back Upstate’. During lockdown, Johnson embarked on a journey through the songs from his debut album, ‘Upstate’, reimagining and reinterpreting them with the help of multi-instrumentalist Rich Reuter. Along with a couple of new tracks, these re-recordings highlight Johnson’s growth as a songwriter and his talent for writing in different genres. ‘Sinner’ is an excellent introduction to some fine music. Enjoy.