Nicole McKinney is the latest entry in the ever growing list of talented Aussie singer/songwriters. Her music exhibits strong emotional intensity in its lyrics, while musically it lands right in that sweet spot between indie rock and folk. After a string of singles released over the past few years, her debut EP 'The Process' arrives as the Brisbane-based artist looks to take her status as a musician to the next level in 2021. McKinney and her band of Kyle Lacko (lead guitar), Luke Woollett (bass), and Jordan Cant (drums/percussion) deliver four songs of love, loss and the transience of life. 'The Process' is of healing, and the EP sees McKinney releasing her deepest emotions for the world to empathise with and relate to. “I hope this EP can comfort a broken heart, inspire someone to leave toxic friends or partners and most of all, ensure patience with our own healing process,” she said. This healing process begins with 'Another Day', where McKinney is filled with feelings of despair and self-pity. This opening cut presents a story that is typical of the early stages of grief, with the track's show-stopping hook likening emotional suffering to "bleeding out".
Speaking of hooks, the next track 'Stay' is the most immediate, with its simple yet effective three-word chorus sure to 'Stay' in your head for days on end. In this song McKinney is torn between feelings of sadness and rage over a breakup, with the latter festering slowly over the song's duration leading up to a fiery bridge. 'Process You (Like a Death)' strips things back a bit instrumentally, which really allows for McKinney's bitterness to be on full display. Her lovely double-tracked harmonies really shine through on this tune. The song eventually progresses to the full band instrumentation, with a pretty slick guitar solo thrown in for good measure. It's only on 'Takotsubo' that McKinney starts to take a step back from the anger of the previous two tracks and her post-breakup vulnerability really starts to show through. The EP's slowest track is one of reflection, with McKinney ruminating on the ashes of a relationship. In just four tracks, a little says a lot. 'The Process' sees Nicole McKinney emerge as a bold new voice, singing the sorrows of many, and helping us all process and move on.