Words by Emily Hollitt
What do you get when you cross the soft country sounds of Mimi Bailey and the soft rock elements of Nicky Muir? Something completely different as the pair debut with Last December, a nostalgic pop ballad about a summer romance that’s come to pass. Mimi introduces the track, her vocals sitting coolly over simple block chord keys, airy guitar and a simple beat, drawing the focus in to the vocals.
“Walking through the hallways of my mind
I always find
In the corner, in the darkness
And it makes me remember
The minimalism of the first verse allows for the chorus to completely build and open up as the acoustic guitar and high hats are introduced. Nick and Mimi’s voices blend together perfectly in the same way Danny and Sandy’s do in Summer Nights– feeling so connected even though the romance has come and gone. This reminiscent feeling is captured the best in chorus lyrics;
“Got the words that you said
Stuck in my head
Should I have let you go?”
Nicky Muir’s verse follows, continuing on the catchy syncopated melody.
“Driving down the highway
With the radio on
I get the feeling you don’t think of this song like I do
Like I do”
He sings, exemplifying the way the little things remind him of the love he lost. The song’s pre-chorus slows down the rhythmic delivery of the verses, drawing the listener more in to the lyrics. “I shouldn’t be so obsessed, so intrigued, but I hand on to every word that you whisper.” Nicky harmonises with Mimi’s vocals perfectly, before leading in to the final chorus.
The airy guitars and narrative style vocals play homage to each of their original genres, taking some of the core elements of what they usually do and using their combined skills to tap into a whole new market. Much like the recent Country Pop uprising surrounding Pop culture right now, it’s a blend that’s been proven to work well, and both Nicky and Mimi have again solidified this claim. Reminiscent of popular songs like Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line’s Meant to Be as well as the sophistication in production of Lover era Taylor Swift, it is clear the pair are well-attuned to what’s good in Pop right now and how to produce a song to best convey the story they want to tell. Later this year, Mimi is set to return to her country roots with her debut EP produced by Bill Chambers and Brandon Dodd. Nicky continues to play a stream of live shows, including an impressive set of support slots including Daryl Braithwaite and The Radiators.