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press | Mike Nicolai


photo by STUCK

“Mike Nicolai is one of the best unknown American songwriters working today.  Self-deprecatingly clever and honestly poignant… the hooks aren’t where you expect them to be, the lyrics take a while to reveal themselves, and his vocal phrasing is weird.  Totally memorable, but weird.  He can be a tough get, especially if you’re impatient, but once you get him, Nicolai rewards you twentyfold.  Resistance is futile.” – Adios Lounge

…Mike Nicolai is one of those artists who is impossible to hate. He’s just too damn good. His stripped-down arrangements suit his superior lyrical wordplay, and yet somehow commercial success has eluded him (for now). God Fatigue just might change all that. Opening with “Tarot’s Road”, you’re drawn into the idea of a singer-songwriter record… only to have the rock stomp of “Post Atom Age” blow your hair to the back of the auditorium… –Pop Matters

…Mike Nicolai is an old-style troubadour folk/blues/country singer, with a pop-rock edge at times, like on the apocalyptic title track. That song, like all of his, has a sharp wit to it, as he tweaks the hypocrisy of religion and other institutions of power. He holds nothing back, and his worldview isn’t a hopeful one. Take this, from “Lifesucker Waltz”: “And aspiring to love means nothing / compared to the proven cash value of ritual slaughter / and futures of people fucking each other out of health / out of home / out of whatever.” Games are always played with people’s lives: that story is told here in cleverly worded rants of anger but also in tale-telling form, like “Snakes”, which resembles a kid’s book, yet with a haunting punch of an ending.  People’s dreams, smothered or unexpressed, are at the heart of it, and a theme elsewhere. Nicolai has a way of voicing people’s fears (real people’s, little people’s) in raw but also often surprising song-tales… – Erasing Clouds

…His self-titled debut album has both the rogue charm of Another Side of Bob Dylan and the hoarse irreverence of the Replacements’ Tim. His lyrics are sharper, angrier, and funnier than either Bob or Paul have mustered up over the last decade or so … – No Depression

… a transcendental blend of word and image, laid painfully bare… this is rock music stripped to its essence, free of frills and bullshit… – Austin Chronicle

…Mike Nicolai was born to be a songwriter…-St. Paul Pioneer Press

… Nicolai’s bizarre lyrical tableau veer from hilarious to angering to chillingly cold and real, sometimes within a single verse… it can feel somethig like getting a ride home from a sensationally drunk savant who’s talking so fast and furious he’s barely watching the road… -Audiogalaxy