For Utah-based singer-songwriter Nicole Canaan, an avid interest in the power of music came from hearing the various synth-based orchestrations in the video games her older brothers would play. “The analog sounds in those video games when they’re telling the stories of the characters, something about those sounds scratches my brain more than anything ever has,” says Canaan. “I love combining those synths with sadder lyrics. I think it creates a really interesting balance.”
Wherever, which was released in October of 2020, was not only Canaan’s first EP, but her first time sharing her songs and all the emotions packed into them with someone else. After posting several songs on Soundcloud, Canaan’s music caught the ear of producer Isaac Elmont, who expressed interest in producing an album. “It was a lovely and very fun experience making the EP. It was also extremely nerve racking—I had never been vulnerable with someone about my music and I had to be when I started recording with Isaac,” she says.
The album consists of a small pool of extremely tender tracks, each divulging the trials of Canaan’s years coming out of high school and becoming an adult. “You move out, you’re in a new spot and you’re still yourself and you still have the exact same problems,” says Canaan. “If you’re trying to run away from something, you will just run right back to it on accident.” From the album’s explorations of coming out as gay to finding comfort in one’s skin, Wherever is an open book of her life experience. Looking back on it all, Canaan says, “Mostly I just try to change my thoughts on how I view my body and how I view myself and not be constantly perceiving myself.”
With a new single, “Dreaming Scheming,” already released and plenty of live performances lined up, Canaan is looking forward to exploring the future with a newfound freedom of music and self.
You can listen to Wherever wherever you stream music. Follow Canaan on Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date with all her upcoming shows, including a performance at the 13th Annual Craft Lake City DIY Fest.