Buffalo Nichols’ vision for the blues is crystal clear on ‘Love Is All’ - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

Buffalo Nichols has released a new original single, “Love Is All” ahead of his upcoming album, The Fatalist, due out September 15 via Fat Possum. Anchored by a blues arpeggio of vibrant harmonics and mesmerizing finger picking, Nichols floats over a minimal, driving rhythm, as if to imply he wrote the song while hitchhiking on the train home to Wisconsin, using the steady locomotive chug as his impromptu rhythm section. His lyrics hearken back to early blues messages while protesting the modern age for its lack of basic human kindness, proudly preaching “Love Is All.” Nichols paraphrased his evocative words in announcing the new song, saying “It is socially acceptable to be cruel and place financial gain over human kindness so I believe loving and treating someone with respect, fairness and kindness is one of the most powerful things one can do. Choosing spiritual love over material love. There is also a theme of the unfamiliarity of pure and real love as many of us grow up having never experienced or witnessed it.”

“Love Is All” follows the album’s lead single, “You’re Gonna Need Somebody On Your Bond”, a cover of the Texas blues classic by Blind Willie Johnson. The rendition earned praise from WNYC New Sounds, No Depression, Milwaukee Record, Folk Alley, and more for its modern imagining of the track, complete with chopped vocal samples and deep 808 bass hits that stay remarkably true to the original song’s pure emotional potency.

Nichols’ vision for the blues is that of a style of music that’s intimately tied to everyday life in 2023, something that’s reflected not only in his choice of instrumentation, but in the complexities of his songwriting and his painfully honest lyricism. This is music that comes straight from the present, but still remains true to its acoustic origins. It’s a reminder that the same things that drove the first blues singers to pick up a guitar are still present behind the modern studio production of today.

With the release of his upcoming sophomore LP The Fatalist, Nichols will embark on a headlining fall tour, including shows at Southampton PA’s Stone Turtle House Concert on September 21 and LA’s Gold Diggers on November 18.

Listen to “Love Is All” and check out the full list of tour dates below, tickets on sale now.

Buffalo Nichols - Love Is All (Official Visualizer)
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