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WE REVIEW THE NEW SINGLE FROM NICKI WELLS – A LITTLE CHRISTMAS OF MY OWN

Nikki Wells’ CV is an impressive one. As a university graduate in music, she’s performed as a featured vocalist at the Royal Albert Hall, the Sydney Opera House and Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage.

As a composer, she’s scored for film, theatre and dance while working with several significant collaborators. She’s had an auspicious career thus far and if her past successes are to be continued, her 2023 debut solo album is to be anticipated with great interest.

Before this however is Christmas, and Wells has penned her own seasonal ballad, an often-risky endeavour. However, while ‘A Little Christmas of My Own’ does possess the bucolic idealism of many a saccharine holiday number, her steadily emotive vocals create an undeniable warmth.

 The track’s opening piano accompaniment is soft without being overtly pristine, blending pleasantly with a vocal performance that is tastefully restrained. Lyrics about how ‘the flowing of the lights looks so cosy’ might not inspire but they are possessive of a tenderness pleasing to the ear.

Most impressive is the track’s production as Wells chooses to grow the mix through expansive self-harmonisation. All-sung chords swirl gorgeously while never being pushed beyond a smartly contained limit.

While ‘A Little Christmas of My Own’ is rustic and sentimental, it does that sentimentality well. Ballads of this kind perennially suffer from a tendency to overproduce, creating a cataclysmic and blaring sound as instruments sore unashamedly. Comparatively, Wells’ restrained approach may be subtle but it’s a welcome one too.