Nolen Sellwood, a “young artist with an old soul,” based in Minnesota, has released his first album, Otherwise. From learning the guitar at 15 to fast forwarding a year later to writing his own original music, Nolen debuts his first album that uses influences from jazz and folk music to create his unique sound. While creating his first album he used the expertise of John Wright his recording manager and Ken Onstand his manager to bring us Otherwise.
Otherwise showcases ten original songs that follow a similar theme of focusing on solid acoustics and vocals. Nolen’s lyrics are poetic, and the beautiful instrumentals enhance the mature and rich vocals he has.
My first impression of the album was that it was light-hearted and calming. Hearing the clarity of Nolen’s voice with the instrumentals made the music easy to listen to. From the first song “This Time” to the last “What I Wanted”, you can tell that there is a smooth connected progression within the music, not one piece feeling out of place.
My favorite pieces from Otherwise have to be “This Time” and “This Is For Someone”. These two songs both have very hopeful lyrics and give a good vibe while giving them a listen.
I loved “This Time” mostly because of the lyrics but also because of the instrumentals. Halfway through the song and towards the end of the song there are instrumental breaks that add a lot to the song with the electric guitar, showcasing the other artists on the album.
The song “This Is For Someone” once again has meaningful lyrics. The chorus of the song is a good kind of catchy making the song easy to listen to. I love the instruments he adds to this song and how once again has a long instrumental break, breaking up the singing with the rest of the music. The violin adds a lot to this song as well making it have a kind of classic rock sound.
Nolen’s music in this album has compelling energy and profound lyrics, each word written with intention making it something that I love most to hear.
With this being Nolen’s first album and being as well done as it is, makes me anticipate much more music from the talented artist throughout his musical career.
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