With an 80s sensibility embodied in industrial synths, alongside a strident backbeat, fuzzy bass, ‘You Used To Have Her’ is the first single from Seattle Washington artist Niko’s upcoming album, ‘Electric Union’. Released on ATIC Records and produced by labelmate and frequent collaborator Aim, Niko manages to all at the same time channel Debbie Harry, Kate Bush, Lene Lovich, and we’re loving it.
The beautifully crafted vocal melodies, alongside complex backing vocal harmonies, support the extremely relatable lyrics, which belie their dark subject matter by being presented in an upbeat pop sound.
Niko’s third long-player, ‘Electric Union’, is produced by Aim, and set for release on ATIC Records over the next few months, and is a combination of heavy dance, synth laden electronica, and neon downtempo.
Niko’s musical journey sounds like that of many others. Born in Seattle, Washington, she grew up watching ‘The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air’ on TV, singing in a gospel choir, and listening to jazz, and power pop, Born in Seattle WA, Niko spent a chilled-out childhood watching The Fresh Prince, listening to jazz and 90’s power pop and singing in a gospel choir. If the jazz aspect of her musical growth stands out, it’s for good reason. When she completed her secondary education, she was awarded a musical scholarship to study jazz at the prestigious New School of Music and The Thelonius Monk Institute, which entailed a move to New York City, and where she studied with such jazz legends as Herbie Hancock, and Reggie Workman. For the next 10 years, Niko filled her senses with the lights, sights, and sounds of NYC, along the way discovering that she also had a passion for deep house and electronic music.
Niko started writing music, her first original works were created for the soundtrack of a PBS television documentary. A demo copy somehow found its way to Manchester, England, and a contract with Grand Central Records, with whom she released her debut album, ‘Life On Earth’. Leaving the now defunct Grand Central in 2005, Niko formed ATIC Records alongside producer and fellow GC stablemate, Aim (real name Andy Turner), and the pair continued to work together, with Niko lending her vocals to Aim’s albums, ‘Flight 602’, and ‘The Habit Of A Lifetime (And How To Kick It)’. Additionally she fronted Aim’s 10 piece live band on sold out tours across the UK, playing everywhere from Glastonbury to the Shepherds Bush Empire.
‘Electric Union’ will be preceded by two singles, ‘You Used To Have Her’, and ‘The Palace Discotheque’, followed by a 5-track remix EP, set to come out in the new year.
One track from the album, ‘Those From The Heavens Come’, has already seen sync placement on the TV series, ‘Spotless’. It’s hoped that through this, Niko’s sound and songwriting talents will be exposed to a wider audience.