The first thing that strikes listeners about Hamilton’s Gillian Nicola is the strength of her vocals. This rising singer/songwriter ranges from acoustic folk singer-songwriter to textured and electric Americana, and reflects a layering of influences and sounds. Her songwriting captures both autobiographical and outwardly inspired stories surrounded by a rich, folk-Americana musical landscape that is anchored on authenticity and honesty. After multiple tours supporting her 2016 EP, No Place to Call, Nicola spent early 2018 at the Alberta’s Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity composing her full-length debut, set for release later this year.
In Spring 2016, Nicola released her sophomore EP, No Place to Call, recorded at Hamilton’s Catherine North Studios with producer Dan Hosh and mastered by Elliott Brood’s Stephen Pitkin. The five-song EP is a move to a sound that Nicola feels fully defines her as an artist. On a base level, the songs are what many have come to know and love from Canadian folk music, but the vocal delivery and heavy instrumentation set Nicola apart. Since releasing No Place to Call, Nicola has toured Canada from coast to coast. The lead single, “Oh Marie” was nominated for the Ontario Arts Council’s Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award.
“No Place to Call is a work focused on atmosphere: I want the listener to feel as though they are surrounded by colour, while simultaneously allowing them to really feel the emotion that is clear in the songs.” Nicola, 2016
A classically trained vocalist, Nicola’s 2013 EP “Chasing the Wind” was nominated for two Hamilton Music Awards and a Toronto Independent Music Award. Nicola is also a community organizer, hosting Open Mic Nights and Songwriters Circles, and lends her talents to various non-profit organizations, such as Girls Rock Camp Toronto.