The Sound Cafe
Edmonton's Andrea Nixon Releases New Single 'Outskirts'
By Jason Schneider.
The New Song will be a part of the Edmonton roots artist's forthcoming album Barbed Wire Dreams
Since releasing her debut album in 2017, Edmonton, Alberta singer/songwriter Andrea Nixon has grown into a powerful voice within the Canadian country music scene, mainly by sticking to her roots while expanding her craft. Her new single “Outskirts'' -- available today on Apple Music and Spotify -- might just be her most accessible work yet without compromising her artistic identity. “Outskirts” follows Andrea’s 2020 single “Blind Spot” as the second preview of her forthcoming full-length album, the provocatively titled Barbed Wire Dreams.
On “Outskirts,” Andrea continues to make significant creative strides with a song that’s at once thoroughly modern, yet based in classic country themes accentuated by Andrea’s pure, soaring vocal performance. Produced by Russell Broom (Jann Arden), who also contributes on guitar, the band on “Outskirts” includes drummer Lyle Mozan (Kathleen Edwards, Dean Brodie), bassist Chris Byrne (The Road Hammers), keyboardist Brendan Waters (Brett Kissel, The Washboard Union) and pedal steel legend Smokey Fennel.
When asked to describe the message behind “Outskirts,” Andrea says, “This song explores the distance between two people, set against the backdrop of broken down love and the chill left behind.” Indeed, this is a timely topic in our socially distanced reality as our connections have been all challenged by our extended absence from those we love.
When it comes to songwriting, Andrea has never been one to fall back on clichés. Instead, she weaves stories with universal themes into the music, leaving the listener feeling both understood and represented. Andrea captures this brilliantly on “Outskirts,” aided by award-winning tunesmith Robyn Dell’Unto (The Good Lovelies’ “I See Gold”) as part of Canada’s Music Incubator (CMI)’s Artist Entrepreneurship program at the National Music Centre.
As an artist who believes that life and music are inseparable, Andrea’s aim is always to create positive change through her art and encourage others to find their own sense of power and connection. As an example, with “Blind Spot” Andrea asked listeners and industry figures alike to consider the voices that remain in the blind spot of contemporary culture and make space for often-muted perspectives. And from January 2019 to January 2021, Andrea sat on the Board of Directors of Country Music Alberta where she served her community, working to support performance and educational opportunities for members.
At the heart of it all, however, is Andrea’s irresistible voice, a vehicle she uses to boldly explore the landscape of heartache, angst, joy and humour with eyes wide open and heart in hand. Her work ethic and signature style have landed her appearances at the ACMA Awards’ Fan Fest, Rogers Hometown Hockey, CCMA and Canadian Music Week showcases, and opening slots for Jessica Mitchell and others.
As anticipation grows around Barbed Wire Dreams, Andrea is poised to continue building on the success of her debut album, Diary Of A Housewife, which spent 14 consecutive weeks on Earshot’s national Folk/Roots chart. At that time FYI Music News described her as “following in the footsteps of trailblazing artists such as Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton,” and indeed, Andrea has managed to do all of this while raising her family and handling the responsibilities that come with being an independent recording artist.
It’s more than a lot of people could take on, but for Andrea Nixon it’s all part of her ultimate goal to spend her life connecting with others in that magical space found under cover of song.