Edgy is a word that we tend to use a lot in articles about rock and metal bands, and it’s a word that intriguing Raleigh, North Carolina, rockers Nikol fully embrace. Their early music had a bit of a ‘Paramore feel’ about them, with their latest releases veering towards an edgier, heavier sound.
The band is built around lead vocalist Nikol, who’s supported by
Zach Giordano and Andrew Matthews (guitars), Alex Lopez (bass) and Michael Brantley (drums).
Nikol has had an interesting musical upbringing, as she tells us: “I actually started my journey with music playing violin and singing in church. The private school I attended once we moved to NC didn’t have an orchestra, so I joined every singing group they offered and did solos whenever I could.
“When I graduated, I found some guys and formed a band, started playing out and here we are, making our best efforts to make it into our full-time careers. I’ve never really ‘fit in’ anywhere, so the band is my closest thing to that.”
Most recent release White Lies, their 2016 EP, gives us some indication of their evolution, especially opening track Fade Out. An eerie piano intro is joined by Niokol’s vocals “Before you write me off, Allow me to introduce you to what you thought you knew, Thought you found my dark side, Well let me shed a little light, Your arrogance is vile, Transparent, you can’t hide, You’ve run out of time” as increasingly heavy bursts of guitar build the suspense then drop out.
A big wall of guitars jumps in as we burst into a big singalong chorus “Judging what you think you see, Watching you watching me, Blinded in your mind, I’m not who you’re making me, You’re invited to invade, Pull the ring on your grenade, Let’s see how far you get, Let’s see how fast you fade out.”
Edgy guitars creep into a more upbeat second verse, feeds into a second chorus then big high-pitched vocals power over layers of guitar and drop into the creepy opening piano and build to a heavy ending. Check it out in the video below:
While there’s a more pop-punk feel to Outside The Lines, which opens up with punky chords that drop into an opening verse that gradually builds, drops, and then explodes into a chorus featuring acoustic guitar in the background. What this track teaches us is that this is a band that aren’t afraid to keep you on your toes with their sound. Give it a listen below:
That punkiness continues in the EP’s closing, title track White Lies, which opens with a punky riff then continues into a big singalong chorus.
Nikol’s sound is inspired by early Paramore and Flyleaf, as well as the likes of Evanescence and PVRIS, with more recent music encompassing “a little mix of everything.”
And on what inspires their music, Nikol explains: “Daily life is hard sometimes, and writing lyrics is a way to vent and be honest with my feelings, it’s a little escape from the real world and, I hope, it touches people when they hear it and is a reminder that they’re not alone in their reality.”
Just to confuse those of anyone who likes to typecast bands into genre buckets, Nikol will shortly be releasing an acoustic record and have a few surprises in store that they’re not allowed to reveal just yet. As Nikol says: “We hope to start 2020 out with a bang – a couple of tours and… well… we can’t say much more quite yet!”