Album Review: Jeb Loy Nichols – June is Short, July is Long

Jeb Loy Nichols is a worldly artist with a veritable host of talents at his fingertips. A gifted musician, singer, songwriter and artist he has taken himself around the world, absorbing more and more into his unique and inimitable sound. This month saw the release of his latest album June is Short, July is Long in which he partners with the Westwood All-Stars to bring his visions to life.

June is Short, July is Long is a rich and jubilant album that gives you a perfect introduction to his work if you have never had the good fortune to have heard it before. With Nichols keen ear and a daring streak of experimentalism he has spent years crafting a truly unique and adept sound that is unquestionably his own. His newest collection of songs draw their influence from genres around the world with powerful country ballads that seem to melt together with soulful bass lines and smooth blues riffs that dance beneath the surface. His songs are peppered with brash streaks that draw their power from reggae and even ska music as brass and organs burst to life with a flourish. His unabashed nature and daring exposition have allowed him to fuse everything from folk to indie together into something that you can’t quite find on any other stage.

Originally hailing from Wyoming in the United States, Nichols moved to Wales in the UK back in the 80s and despite this arguably bad trade-off in locations, his love of music came with him. As his country-based aspirations came alongside him on his journey he began to make a name for himself overseas and far from his birth home. Over the years we have seen these carefully grow and intermingle into the powerhouse of sound that he produces today. His warm and gravelled voice is one of the most charming and enigmatic voices around today and carries within it a true sense of fun and joy. His softly husky tones are reminiscent of the likes of Jack Johnson (although Nichols has been playing longer so it’s more apt to say that Johnson is reminiscent of Nichols) and his earnest and playful themes melt together with his heartfelt notions that place him in a similar vein to Newton Faulkner.

Nichols soft American lilt is something that hasn’t entirely faded over time and you can hear his rich US twang reverberating in the background of his voice as he sings. June is Short, July is Long is a rich and heady album that has an indomitable sense of spirit and simply cannot help but uplift yours. No matter where you are in the day, Nichols’ picks you up and puts you right back on track because life is just too short to be angry all the time.

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Review by Joe Knipe


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