“Pressing drum strikes create a restless atmosphere that’s reinforced by brightly winding guitar lines, and Nieland’s heartfelt vocals as he sings socio-politically steeped lyrics” ~Big Takeover Magazine
“Brings to mind R.E.M. with both music and vocals right in line with the kind of music they put out in their first ten years… Nieland carries it with strength, his voice like a beacon of truth” ~ Amplify Music Magazine
“Thoughtful and socially-conscious… Neiland brings a message of hope and a vision for a better future” ~ Rebel Noise
“Nieland approaches such subjects with a musical deftness and sonic poise which may at first belie the poignancy of the message he is sending… he balances shards of guitar noise, beguiling electronica and his imploring vocals” ~ Dancing About Architecture
NYC-based producer indie music veteran Charlie Nieland presents his new single ‘Tightrope’, an exciting new offering that brings him one step closer to the release of his new ‘Divisions’ LP. The brilliant accompanying video was directed by visionary B.A Miale.
“Tightrope was written in response to the novel ‘Little Liar’ by Julia Gray. Reading it brought out for me the similarities of wishing and lying, crossing our fingers for each, and how we can tumble down into our loneliness without seeing the color that surrounds us. The lyrics to the chorus, “The colors run together, The coins are thrown forever, An instrument of trust”, jumped out of the air for me and when I picked up the guitar, the music came just as instantly, like the song was waiting for me to find it. It really felt like a gift, with elements of classic British pop crisscrossed with post-punk and shoegaze; ELO meets Psychedelic Furs,” says Charlie Nieland.
Video director B.A Miale’s interpretation elevates the song into a beautifully surreal tale that opens into a shimmering, slightly nightmarish, wonderland. In terms of her inspiration for this video, she refers to Oscar Wilde: “We are all in hell, but some of us are looking at the stars”
“The storyline was inspired by this intense year we are collectively experiencing, surrounded by death and heartache. Like the protagonist, some of us absolutely need our escapisms to remain sane, even if they render us delusional,” says B.A Miale.
Both the song and the video feature Nieland’s Lusterlit bandmate Susan Hwang on Janggu, drum kit and vocals. The video stars international cabaret and circus performer Amy Gordon, whose last acting gig was playing a pigeon in the big apple circus until covid shut it down.
This single comes on the trail of several previewed tracks, including ‘So Few Have So Much’, ‘Pawns’ and ‘Divisions’, the video for which was created by Brooklyn-based video director Hypnodoll, presenting a beautifully layered glimpse at the what’s behind the illusion of separateness in this critical moment.
Renowned for tastefully blending post punk, dream pop and progressive rock with sweeping melodies and restless and visceral rhythms, Charlie Nieland has been writing, playing and producing music for decades, with a focus on the atmospheric and the imaginative.
Nieland played power dream pop with the band Her Vanished Grace for over 20 years before establishing himself as a solo artist with a mix of nuanced songwriting and sonic exploration. He is currently half of the literature-inspired songwriting and performing duo Lusterlit with Susan Hwang.
Over the years, Charlie has written and produced material with such notable artists as Debbie Harry, Rufus Wainwright, Dead Leaf Echo, Blondie and Scissor Sisters. He scored the feature film ‘The Safety of Objects’ (starring Glenn Close), the pilot episode of ‘The L Word’ on Showtime and the VH-1documentary ‘NY77: The Coolest Year in Hell’. Charlie was awarded a Gold record (UK) for his production work on Blondie’s ‘Greatest Hits Sight & Sound’ and achieved a Top 10 Billboard Dance Chart Position with Debbie Harry’s single ‘Two Times Blue’, which he co-wrote and produced.
The ‘Divisions’ single is available now via Bandcamp. The full album by the same name will be released in March 2021. It can already be pre-ordered directly from the artist.
Charlie Nieland: Acoustic 12 String Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass,
Susan Hwang: Drums, Janggu, Vocals
Heather Cole: Violin
Recorded: July-Nov 2020 at home and at Saturation Point Studios (Brooklyn NY)
Produced, Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Charlie Nieland