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Matthew Liam Nicholson

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A publisher’s job is to make choices, what gets presented, and what is left by the wayside. But each choice sets the stage for future choices. Their choice defines their destiny, and it’s ever-changing from moment to moment.

Matthew Liam Nicholson takes that mandate of choice and inverts it in “The Publisher”, using it to reflect on the messiness of love and healing. It’s not an easy or fun process—“f*ck all these pieces fragmented and so freezing cold”—but ultimately worthwhile.

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There’s an uplifting swing at the end of each vocal line, pitching up just enough to feel like a friend’s hand on your back. Even the guitar often doubles the vocal line, a literal support offered to the person making these choices.

But some choices lead to surprises. The bridge bursts out with a growling sax, raw with emotion—a stark contrast to the rest of the song’s ethereal tonality.

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The overlapping vocals, often in near unison, feel like a group hug by the end. That repeated line, “that’s life for ya now,” is the final promise that your choices can change you.

Stream “The Publisher” below.

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