Our Track by Track series gives artists a space to break down each song off of their newest release. Today, Charlie Hickey explores the tracks off of his new album, Nervous At Night.
Today (May 20th), singer-songwriter Charlie Hickey shares his debut full-length effort Nervous At Night. Out on Saddest Factory and produced by Marshall Vore, the 11-track LP follows his Count the Stars EP, also produced by Vore.
Beyond gracing the world with her own poignant indie-rock masterworks, Phoebe Bridgers’ meteoric, well-deserved success has allowed her to share the spotlight with her friends. Her albums and record label have seemingly become collaborative efforts between a close-knit group of similarly-minded, likely depressed artists. Names like Bridgers, Vore, Conor Oberst, Haley Dahl (of Sloppy Jane), MUNA, Christian Lee Houston, and more trade off helping each other find new ways to make us cry. Luckily, all of Bridgers’ friends just so happen to be incredibly talented.
Among the latest to be spotlighted by Saddest Factory is Charlie Hickey, a childhood friend of Bridgers. But his relationship with other established indie artists by no means undercuts his output, as his debut EP promised and Nervous At Night confirms, Hickey is a talent all of his own. He may share sensibilities and a pension for the existential with his labelmates, but songs like “Dandelions” showcase Hickey’s unique take on indie music.
The album’s lo-fi, emotional songs detail Hickey’s experience of being stuck between adolescence and adulthood. Ballads, folk songs, and driving indie bangers run through themes of relationships, anger, self-criticism, and love, ultimately ending on a somewhat hopeful note with the lovely, stripped-back “Planet With Water.”
“It’s a really special one to me,” Hickey tells Consequence about the track. “No matter how many vocoders I put on my records, I will always be a guy with an acoustic guitar!”
It’s a tumultuous, uncertain journey backed by an empathetic soundscape and Hickey’s friends. Sure, fans of Phoebe Bridgers will likely find a lot to love about the record, but Nervous At Night easily stands on its own as a powerful opening statement for Hickey’s songwriting career.
Listen to Nervous At Night below, followed by Hickey’s insight into each of the album’s songs.