Begin your day with this uplifting new song from husband and wife folk-duo Raveis Kole. The main take-away from ‘So Nice’ is the simple joy Laurie Raveis and Dennis Kole take in one another’s company and in performing together. The chorus melody and harmonies soar, lifting the we listeners and bringing light into our days. In the video, the couple play and sing, walk and drink, with genuine smiles on their faces; such delight is both refreshing and welcome in challenging times. Indeed, the song was inspired by the collective, joyous experience of playing to an appreciative crowd after pandemic restrictions were lifted. the audience were thankful as Raveis sang and this reflected in the lines: “So nice to be right here // Hanging out with friends old and new..Right now can you feel the wind’s at your back // Take a deep breath, relish this moment.” The sentiment is simple and direct and all the more powerful for that. Sonically and thematically, ‘So Nice’ feels free. Kole considers the song’s meaning: “I couldn’t help but reflect on the simplicities of life unfolding, that sense of expanded joy because people hadn’t been able to participate fully in life and were almost glowing with excitement to be out, to be together, enjoying live music.” Further exclusive reflections from Laurie Raveis and Dennis Kole about the song are below; huge thanks to them for their thoughtful comments and insight.
Now based in Bellingham, Washington, the couple met while jamming together at a Montana music festival. They made a connection and that musical bond is evident in ‘So Nice’ and other songs on their forthcoming album ‘In the Moment’, which fittingly celebrates the act of playing together and being present in the moment. Flourishes of banjo, ukulele, lap steel, harp guitar, cavaquinho, tambourine, shakers, foot drums and even whistling are used to elevate the songs and fill them with warm texture. Impressively, all the instruments are played by the duo. Kole says of the record: “It’s exciting for the two of us to create this full sound. It’s a challenge to be able to do all these things, to bring in different colors, textures and harmonies to create the right vibe for the lyrics and still be locked in. The times are what they are but we didn’t want to focus on feelings of loss and isolation; and we wanted to go back to celebrating other people, instead of looking at them as potential disease vectors. Let’s celebrate the importance of other people in our lives, that feeling of being connected to something bigger than yourself.” Inspiring words and the world should take note. Since their debut album in 2016, the pair have charted on Billboard, participated in Folk Alliance and AmericanaFest and shared stages with the likes of Justin Townes Earle. ‘In the Moment’ is due out on 28th April 2023. Look out for it – you can expect an uplifting blend of country, folk and the 1970s-style singer-songwriter tradition. Enjoy.
Laurie: “As we began to move away from the isolation and restrictions of the pandemic and returned to performing for and interacting with people in a live, community setting, it was deeply satisfying and meaningful. There was a palpable feeling of connection that was definitely enhanced by the long absence of the same, like a camel enjoying that first drink of water at a distant oasis after a long, solitary trek across the desert! It literally felt ‘so nice’ to be with people again and we wanted to both celebrate the moment, and to remind ourselves to deeply savor and appreciate it.”
Dennis: “The song sounds like your favourite pair of slippers and a cosy blanket on a crisp fall day as you sit on your porch watching a brilliant sunset illuminate the bright colors of the autumn leaves. There is a playful bounce to the song, along with a soothing liquid grace to the vocals, which together float over a reflective, contemplative pulse, that both carries you forward while also allowing for a deep immersion into the meaning and emotion of the lyrics. The Japanese might describe it as shibumi or wabi-sabi, which in this context could also be described as elegant simplicity or articulate brevity.”
Laurie: “The soft whistles became a wonderful element to help establish the relaxed and welcoming vibe of the song. They were not originally part of the song. As we were in the recording studio listening to a rough mix I started whistling along and Matt, our co-producer, exclaimed: ‘Get out there (into the tracking room), let’s record them!’ One take later they were done: I didn’t have time to overthink it because whistling was a simple and spontaneous instinctive reaction while being caught up in listening to the song. The lyrics have a zen-like focus of being aware, grounded, and tuned into the moment; of acceptance and deep appreciation for simplicity, harmony with nature, openness to and enjoyment of others, and the acknowledgment of impermanence: ‘So nice to quench a thirst // So nice to touch a friend’s hand (Whistle) // Wriggle toes on the earth // Be at one with the land (Whistle)’
I wanted the chorus to sweep me lyrically and melodically up into awareness and gratitude for this moment: ‘Right now can you feel the wind’s at your back // Take a deep breath, relish this moment // Right here all’s aligned and on track // Take a deep breath, relish this moment (Oh oooh oh ooh) (Oh oooh ooh)'”
Dennis: “As a longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest this elegantly summarises how I feel every autumn: ‘So nice to absorb the sun // While northwest summer days are long (Whistle) // So nice to soak it in // Before grey days come around again (Whistle).’
We live in a beautiful part of the world where the mountains march to the ocean, defining a rich tapestry of forests, rich fields, and abundant wildlife. Some of our favorite local performance opportunities are at sites which showcase many of these highlights. We shot our video of ‘So Nice’ at Boulevard Park on Bellingham Bay, a gateway to the Salish Sea. It offers a recreational and community gathering place with an intimate outdoor stage, a local waterfront coffee shop, a nearby cruise terminal for trips on the Alaska Marine Highway, the historic 160-foot Schooner Zodiac, and nearby Western Washington regional University. A late summer sunset at Boulevard part was the perfect setting to capture the spirit and ambiance of ‘So Nice.'”