Twenty-one year old Pasadena-based artist Charlie Hickey announces his debut album today. Nervous At Night, out on May 20th via Saddest Factory Records, is a gorgeous, 11-track record that finds Hickey detailing life’s graceless passage between teenage years and adulthood, and all of the noise that permeates. Hickey has always navigated the intricacies of life through a musical lens, both as a child of two musicians and as an artist who has surrounded himself with talented peers. “It feels almost too good to be true,” Hickey says of the small crew of friends that assisted him on the record—label boss and childhood friend Phoebe Bridgers, producer Marshall Vore, and fellow musicians Harrison Whitford, Christian Lee Hutson and Mason Stoops who are featured on the album. With all of the talent surrounding him, it’s Hickey’s remarkable voice, masterful songwriting and relatable storytelling that shine through on Nervous At Night.
Alongside today’s album announcement, Charlie Hickey shares the Nervous At Night title track. The track is a pop anthem that instantly joins the canon of the great Unrequited Love Songs, with a hook that dances over the song’s anxieties, as Hickey sings how he “can’t keep throwing rocks up at your window.” “‘Nervous At Night’ is one of the first songs that was written for this album,” Hickey explains. “It captures a lot of the anxiety and beauty that comes with growing up and having new feelings. It’s a song about being nervous for no particular reason, which is a running theme on this album, and also one that I think a lot of people, particularly of my generation, can relate to.”
Nervous at Night shifts between quiet, heavy-hearted ballads and gleaming, hook-laden tracks. While Hickey calls the album a pop record, he admits that sonically it moves in many directions, an amalgamation of his love for folk singers of yesteryear and more contemporary peers, from Taylor Swift and The 1975, to Elliott Smith, to Conor Oberst. Like those heroes, Hickey shares a clarity in his songs that is specific in its songwriting but still inviting, open and generous.
Photo Courtesy: Frank Ockenfels