Nic Cowan - Hardheaded
Published: Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 12:09
He's rugged, he's edgy and he's the son of a drummer. He's Nic Cowan, and he doesn't even have a Wikipedia page yet — that's how new to the music business he is. After countless gigs at nightclubs and open mic nights, this fresh, young musician was discovered by none other than Zac Brown of the Zac Brown Band. The band took Cowan on its Southern Ground tour as an opening act and audiences were captivated by his unique style. Cowan's father taught him that he had to be completely original to stand out, and that is what he has accomplished with his debut album, Hardheaded.
The overall theme of the album is the idea of being carefree. It's about kicking back and enjoying life the way it is. The track "Cut it Loose" features Zac Brown and is a perfect way to kick off any weekend, assuring listeners that "we've been held down for five long days / and it's time to cut it loose." Keeping with this party theme, "We're Going Out" features Kid Rock, who is known for his feel-good anthems.
Songs like "Sun Dress," "Long Way Home" and "Get Me Going" are upbeat songs that are great for background music. The songs aren't bad, they're just more casual than the rest of the songs on the album. The melodies are catchy and memorable, but the lyrics don't pop out at you like the other tracks do.
Aside from the partying element, there is a slower, more heartfelt side of the album as well. The song "I Won't Let Go" is about offering support to a loved one through difficult times. "Reno" stands out on the album, telling the story of two artists who eventually meet and marry. The song asks the question "What is it that drives you to create?" It's terrific, both musically and lyrically.
It's tough to pinpoint the precise genre of Hardheaded. His songs are a mix of country, rock, soul and R&B. Cowan recognizes that his style is very different in the track "New Sh*t." The song describes the sound of the album perfectly with the lyrics "I know it's different / I know this isn't what you've been used to / what you've been listenin' / cuz this is new sh*t." The song itself is more rock-ish than the rest of the album and stands out in the best way possible. This song catches your ear from the first play and you will probably keep it on repeat for some time after.
After attending the Southern Ground concert and seeing Nic Cowan for the first time in person, I couldn't wait for this album to be released. Hardheaded can be listened to over and over without getting old. Each song is catchy, real and can easily stand on its own. No matter what kind of music you usually listen to, Hardheaded could become a new favorite.