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Pop / Rock 22/06/2023

Salim Nourallah To Unleash A Nuclear Winter In The Summer, On June 23, 2023

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Salim Nourallah To Unleash A Nuclear Winter In The Summer, On June 23, 2023
New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Singer-songwriter/producer Salim Nourallah is set to release his new album, A Nuclear Winter, on June 23, 2023, via his label Happiness (A Record Label) in tandem with State Fair Records. The 10-song album is a result of a collaboration between Nourallah and English guitarist/songwriter/ producer Marty Willson-Piper, who spent over 30 years in the Australian band, The Church. Willson-Piper continues to perform, produce, and prolifically record since parting ways with the band. Nourallah is a Texan (based in Dallas) who has spent many years releasing solo records and touring Europe as well as producing a vast array of other artists. Rhett Miller and Old 97's sit atop the list of Nourallah's production credits. A Nuclear Winter is Nourallah's first full-length release since 2018's double LP, Somewhere South of Sane, and, overall, it's Nourallah's eighth studio album.

"Many of the songs on this album were exhumed from a particularly rough period of my life, my 'nuclear winter,' so to speak," says Nourallah. "At the heart of it is the age-old struggle to be 'seen' while a relationship is in the throes of upheaval." Nourallah is feeling fairly celebratory about songs he started over a decade ago finally seeing the light of day. "All these years later - 10, to be exact - I see this album as a document of what was. Not what is. So, it actually feels good to listen to that poor, lost, past version of myself and no longer feel what he was feeling. I made it through that time. I'm no longer there. It's liberating."

The lead single from A Nuclear Winter, "The Sound of Suffering," is an uptempo, electric guitar-driven song more reminiscent of British band The House of Love than Willson-Piper's ex-band. The song - released on February 24th - and its accompanying video premiered at Spill Magazine earlier that week; they called the song "a buoyant rock-pop gem, shiny bright and driven by electric guitar and Nourallah's Tom Petty-esque vocals."

"Loved By You," the album's second single was released on April 7th; it expresses the hopeful desire that usually comes at the onset of a new relationship but it's ultimately a plea to be 'seen' by another. The laid-back groove and the way the chords move are reminiscent of George Harrison. Willson-Piper cites it as being one of his personal favorites, saying, "There's a simultaneous intimacy and directness, and that's a skill in lyric writing. The lyrics clearly communicate, and there's a relaxed, effortless power in Nourallah's delivery." The song and its music video premiered several days prior to release at Glide Magazine, who called the song "a standout tune... [Nourallah's] penchant for crafting infectious and resonating works of indie rock and Americana is on full display here." The third single, "Under Attack," was released on May 26th, and it premiered earlier that week at V13, who appreciated its "classic, late-1970s rock vibe" and also proclaimed that "Nourallah's vocals and songwriting approach may very well remind you of the legend Tom Petty."

Nourallah met album collaborator and co-producer Willson-Piper when the Englishman played an acoustic show at Nourallah's Pleasantry Lane Studio in early 2018. In the fall of 2018, Willson-Piper traveled to Texas with his wife, Olivia, to play some shows with Nourallah. The musicians also booked studio time in Nashville with Nourallah's long-time band, the Treefort 5 - Joe Reyes on electric guitar (Buttercup), John Dufilho on drums (The Deathray Davies/Apples in Stereo), Jason Garner on bass (Polyphonic Spree), and Richard Martin on keyboards (Shibboleth). Willson-Piper reflects, "Lovely blokes, lovely songs, great players... What else do you need?" Nourallah adds, "We hadn't made a band album in almost 10 years, so we were due. We spent a week in a retro-styled studio called Welcome to 1979, cutting to tape, then brought the tracks back to Dallas for overdubs at my studio, Pleasantry Lane. So began the saga of this record."

Plans to release A Nuclear Winter fell through when the Covid-19 pandemic struck in March of 2020 and forced Willson-Piper to cancel plans to come to the United States and tour with Nourallah. A decision was made to shelve the album until Willson-Piper was finally able to come back to America and the two musicians could resume touring plans. "Every time I tried to move forward, something would get in my way," Nourallah explains. "The world said 'nope' so many times it became almost comedic. The most difficult part of making this record was actually answering the voice of my teenage self saying that it 'wasn't good enough yet.' Since I'd been a fan of Marty and his ex-band for many years, I set the bar pretty high. I was determined not to release an album that didn't live up to my own expectations."

In 2022, Nourallah released the five-song See You in Marfa EP, which served as a teaser for A Nuclear Winter and included bonus material from the Nashville album sessions as well as "Hold on to the Night," a song Nourallah and Willson-Piper co-wrote. Glide Magazine called the song a "triumphant power pop anthem... [that] brings together the indie rock sensibility of Wilco and the catchy power pop stylings of Tom Petty… this bouncy rock and roll anthem that feels truly timeless… he is a gem of a writer and musician."

Press further praised the songs on See You in Marfa. The Big Takeover called the title track "bright and breezy." Vents Magazine called the EP "sublimely perfect from start to finish," Skope Magazine dubbed it "indie pop-rock perfection," and Take Effect Reviews named it "impactful," while Spill Magazine declared, "The songs sound fresh and vibrant, at turns graced with a sheen of jangly/sparkling pep and verve then a hint of twangy/gritty goodness." Off-Center Views said Nourallah "has an uncanny ability to mix voice and instrumentation in perfect balance and to blend his optimism with just enough edge." Goldmine praised the "wonderful new set of songs... [a] superb mix of sensitive ballads and rugged rockers." San Antonio Current said the EP "explores the dusty horizon between pop and country." Texas Music Magazine wrote, "The new EP and album should give Nourallah the audience he's always deserved."

To celebrate A Nuclear Winter's release in June, Willson-Piper will be joining Nourallah and the Treefort 5 for three album release shows in Texas in June. All of the Texas dates also feature The Deathray Davies and Buttercup. Nourallah and Willson-Piper also have plans to start work on a follow-up record while Willson-Piper is stateside. In July, Nourallah heads out on tour with Rhett Miller in the Northeast. Confirmed tour dates are below.

Salim Nourallah Tour Dates - A Nuclear Winter in the Summer
(* denotes dates with The Deathray Davies, Buttercup, and Marty Willson-Piper)
(+ denotes dates with Rhett Miller)
June 22nd - The Lonesome Rose | San Antonio, TX*
June 23rd - The Parish | Austin, TX*
June 24th - Sons of Hermann Hall | Dallas, TX*
July 22nd - The Englewood | Hummelstown, PA+
July 23rd - The Vogel at Count Basie Center for the Arts | Red Bank, NJ+
July 24th - City Winery | New York, NY+
July 26th - City Winery | Boston, MA+

Salim Nourallah - A Nuclear Winter Track listing:
1. Hazy Morning Glow
2. Loved by You
3. Under Attack
4. I Don't Know
5. You Are Beautiful
6. The Sound of Suffering
7. I Can't Take Another Heartbreak
8. Avalanche
9. Invisible Man
10. Let Go

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