Single Review: Nick Byrne – Houses

By Jeanette Arsenault

OK.  Full disclosure – Nick Byrne’s latest single, “Houses” had me at the opening guitar intro.  And then I heard his voice.  Can a person be hooked that quickly?  Usually I like to read the lyrics, feel the song and see how it impresses me and then decide what I will write about it.

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Sorry but that’s the songwriter in me – always hungry for great lyrics, a great turn of a phrase, compelling lyrics that pull me out of reality and sweep me away into an altered universe .

My first time through listening to “Houses” I just listened to the music, the production, the gorgeous vocals and let the music speak.  It spoke in a lovely lush soundscape that made me feel something, though nothing specific that I can put my finger on.  I just let myself get carried away on a musical ride just for the beauty of it. 

There are so many interesting elements in the arrangement of this song.  You are swept away on a wave of musical magic and then the song pauses…then picks back up and away you go again.  “Feels like home, feels like home, feels like home” is repeated over and over at the end of the song, then the guitar has the last word and then –  it’s over.  And you want to hear it again because it ended before you were ready to let go.

Second time through I started reading the lyrics….but wait!  I can’t read the lyrics yet because now it’s the voice that has a most interesting sound – what is that?  How did they do that?  What makes it sound so lush and “wide”?  It’s really quite compelling to just focus on the voice.  And the production is divine where the voice “sits” on the music.  Perfectly balanced and mixed.  Let me listen some more and get back to you…

Third time through and I am now reading along with the lyrics as the song takes me to my happy place.  Who doesn’t feel a tug when they think about home?  “Feels like home” is the perfect line because there are times we are not at home but we feel so good that it feels like home.

So happy to see that the lyrics do not disappoint after all that build up:

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Life does not want you to become stagnant or to simply exist.  It wants you to move forward, stand still, reassess, move forward again – maybe in the same or in a different direction, to look to the future, learn from the past, build today and make it last as I once wrote in one of  my own songs.

And how many of us LOVE our comfort zones?  Raise your hand.  We all do but that’s not how we grow.  Unless we are focussing on internal self-development that is.

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Isn’t that a life truism:  to turn our house into a home.  A place where it feels like home and we “find the pieces that make us whole”.

This song won me over with all its elements in perfect balance. 

Have a listen – I’m sure you will agree. 


YouTube:  Nick Byrne

Twitter, Facebook & Instagram:  @nickbyrneuk

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Published by Jeanette Arsenault

Jeanette Arsenault is a singer/songwriter/recording & performing artist/mentor/coach who is now pursuing her new passion for music journalism. She is also currently preparing the foundation for her new business to provide support, consulting and resources to musicians.

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