Nicola Lester
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Nicola Lester

Brunswick, Victoria, Australia | INDIE

Brunswick, Victoria, Australia | INDIE
Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


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"CD Reviews: Nicola Lester"


Author:Aidan Roberts

Melbournite Nicola Lester carries an air of the modern loner, possessing the same elfen phrasing and whispery vocal timbre of Cat Power and Emiliana Torrini. Her acutely arranged acoustic instrumentation, horns and double-tracked melodies are rather bewitching from the outset; even the mysterious artwork, a collection of masquerade photographs of Lester in flamboyant costuming in humblingly bleak and simple locations serves to illustrate the vibe of this record well. She is a creature of the quietly understated. Elements of her elder generation sometimes appear, such as the Judee Sill-esque musical-hall romp Turn It Over and the deliciously bittersweet Don’t Stop Believing.The sonics here are sparse, Lester’s piano is milky and house-bound, the drums quietly patter away, Libby Chow’s french horn eerily thrums here and there. The title track is probably as close as the album gets to garnering a pop hit – and it is here, in a nutshell she nails the sentiment of her dark folk message – “it’s the colours that smooth the wood, it’s the colours that make the bad things good”.
- Alternative Media Group

"Drum Media Single of the week"

By Jason Kenny

"This is the first taste from Lester's forthcoming debut by the same name and it's all minamalist lo-fi piano beauty. Think Blasko singing Cat Power tunes with piano in an abandoned wooden house. Then some haunting trumpet comes!
It's subdued, well performed, capatalising on the lo-fi aesthetic better than most.
The b-side, All we dreamed draws even more heavily on the Cat Power reference - surely that's a riff from one of Chan Marshalls albums - but what Lester does with it makes it all her own."

- Drum Media, Perth, Australia

"December CD's, Nicola Lester, Colours"


It's interesting when musicians choose to use nothing but their own plain name under which to release - to "brand" - their music. Interesting because it dosn't happen much. It's brave, I think. Nicola Lester from Melbourne, for example, hasn't even released any music before except for the wonderous, bare soundtrack to the Cannes-winning short film Cracker Bag in 2003. That was when she was a music student. Now comes the archetypal brave, emotionally wrought and beautifully tender solo album under her own name and no others, Colours, using our, not the Americanised, spelling, featuring a set of winsome cameos from Clare Bowditch's French horn player Libby Chow. Songs about feelings, journeys and sensations and such. Sounds like Nico or Cat Power and very, very good indeed. - The Age Newspaper, Melbourne (Fairfax Media)

"Inpress Single of the Week"

By Clem Bastow

"It's been an exceptionally strong year for local female singer/songwriters, and Nicola Lester's captivating Colours is another example. In a similar vein, if you play like that, to Sarah Blasko's more delicate moments, Colours is an offbeat, low-key gem; B-side All We Dreamed has an ethereal, eccentric quality that recalls Scout Niblett's earlier-decade work. Both song suggest that Colours the album will be one worth keeping an ear/eye out for." - Inpress Magazine, Melbourne


Debut L.P :Colours
Released in November 2009
Radio airplay high rotation for three tracks, plus irregular spins of most tracks on the album.

Single: Colours November 2009

Single Autumn Glow 2010

New L.P on the way




Colours is the debut lp of Melbourne native Nicola Lester. Lester’s rich, breathy voice and accomplished song writing belie the fact that she came to music relatively late in life. A politics and economics graduate, at 25, having never played an instrument before, but having a head full of songs and melodies, Lester taught herself piano and tricked her way into a music school to study composition. Before graduating, she co wrote the score to the short film Cracker Bag, which went on to win Best Short Film at Cannes.
When school was out, Lester started her own jingle-writing business, putting her natural affinity for melody to work, penning tunes for brands such as Michelin, Bonds, and Portmans. Then something unexpected happened: people fell in love with the songs. They started asking where they could buy this bewitching music, and why its creator didn’t have an album. Enter Level Two Music, who encouraged Lester to lay down the songs that became Colours.
A beautifully full, emotionally honest collection of songs, Colours weaves a tapestry out of a diverse set of experiences and feelings, including Lester’s work with women in the juvenile justice system. Colours’ mostly piano-led songs give ample space to Lester’s spellbinding, nimble pipes, and her tales of healing, nurturing and becoming human, its power in its deceptive simplicity and delicate, winsome melodies. Featuring Libby Chow (Clare Bowditch and the Feeding Set), Gray Taylor (Flying Scribble) and Myles Wooton (The Panics), Colours was recorded and mixed by Matt Calia and Matt Voight (Cat Power, Augie March) and is out now through Level Two.