“There are two things in my life that I am decent at. One is music, the other is a very fast card game called Slaps. I am not joking or trying to be self-deprecating. That's actually it.” - Nicole Byblow
I have a lot of respect for artists who call their talent “decent.” They usually are the most skilled at making art that stops people in their tracks and forces them to pay attention.
Nicole Byblow is one of those artists.
With her latest opus, titled “Nicole Byblow Plays All the White Keys,” the Canadian singer-songwriter invites the listener to share an intimate musical moment with her. There is no gimmick. There are only a piano and a (beautiful) voice, two instruments that meet and speak to each other in passionate tones. The addition of drums, as well as occasional backup vocals (Mike Buckley, for example), guitar, violin and toy piano complement the whole in a subtle, yet haunting fashion. The result is a crystal-clear sounding album that will be best enjoyed in the middle of a sleepless night.
Byblow also has a knack for penning witty and insightful lyrics. Whether she drops expletives while sharing her experience as a former cleaning lady (“Things That I Learned When I Worked at the Hospital”) or she sings about relationships (“About a Lover”), her emotions are real and raw, and delivered with a superb clarity.
“Nicole Byblow Plays All the White Keys” is one of the best albums I have heard in the last five or six years. I highly recommend it. - Cendrine Marrouat
Uptown Magazine (Winnipeg)
Plays All the White Keys EP
Toronto-by-way-of-Manitoba indie pianist Nicole Byblow gives an exuberant and whimsical take on piano pop on her debut EP, a culmination of years of classical training at the Royal Conservatory of Music (in Toronto) and later, Selkirk College.
Byblow’s sweet, saccharine vocals are augmented by the bouncy bliss of her sweeping piano arrangements. Particularity memorable is Things That I Learned When I Worked at the Hospital, in which Byblow adds playful toy piano and some pretty strings to her pitch-perfect keys and dainty chime — all while dropping F-bombs and bitching about her old job.
This gal is a whirlwind talent who has concocted a charming record.
— Julijana Capone
Silence As Sound - www.silenceassound.wordpress.com (Victoria)
You will be happy to know that Nicole does play in keys other than C major and A minor, utilizing more of the piano than the album title implies.
I hate to use the buzz-word “up-and-coming” to describe Nicole and this album ... but I feel that you hipsters out there need to latch onto this girl so you can say that you liked her “before she was mainstream.”
If you love “girls with pianos” but are missing something with a little bit of an edge, Nicole Byblow Plays All the White Keys will be able to fill that void for you. No matter what kind of music you enjoy listening to, I would highly recommend this album for anyone (even if there is a Parental Advisory on it).
This is what Canadian music is all about and I look forward to everything else Nicole Byblow has to offer. - Jason C Stasiuk