Featured Indie Acoustic Artist: Nick Urb – We Were Able

When you first listen to Nick Urb’s music, you will probably assume he is a seasoned acoustic musician. Well, you know what happens when you assume, right? We Were Able is actually Nick Urb’s debut album, but you would never know it. His soft, gentle vocals and music arrangements on each song are proof that making music is what he is meant to do.

Along with his musical talent, Nick is also filled with nothing but positive energy. As he states on his ReverbNation bio, “I think there is way too much negative in the world and my music offers me the chance to just escape from all of it. So please just take a listen and hopefully it gives you a place to go.” Urb’s music will definitely give you a place to go in order to escape. With smooth vocals, relatable lyrics, and a calming blend of instruments, Nick Urb deserves to be put in the same category as artists similar to his style like Brett Dennen, Joshua Radin, and Damien Rice.

On the first track, “Matter of Time,” there is a sense of hope and positivity. He knows that things will happen for him one day through his hard work and determination. The use of brushes on the drums gives the song a catchy and almost infectious feeling. “Violet” is bound to be another popular track, in which Urb sings a sweet love song listing everything he loves about the significant other in his life. It’ll have ladies saying, “Aww” and might even inspire men to play the song for their significant other if they are having trouble putting their feelings into words.

It was impossible to not put Nick Urb on IMR’s elite list of musicians for the Indie Acoustic Issue. He is the perfect example of an indie acoustic musician and will do big things in his future. IMR had the opportunity to ask Nick some questions about his inspirations, music, and what he hopes to achieve through his music. Here’s what he had to say.

What inspired you to write your first album, We Were Able?

Well, I was in another band that was quite a bit heavier, and whenever I would write a song that I didn’t feel really fit with that style, I would just save it. That was probably around seven years ago. So most of the songs are really old. We Were Able is really just a collection of all the songs I wrote that weren’t really a fit with the other band. I put old versions of some of these songs out a long time ago and people really seemed to like it. Kids would always come up to me at my other band’s shows and ask when I was going to release my own stuff, so I decided to pick out some of the ones I liked most and make an album.

What type of music did you listen to growing up?

I listened to a lot of different stuff. My dad would always be playing great, old rock stuff like Journey, Boston, Van Halen. I loved Michael Jackson for all the pop/R&B type stuff. A lot of Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan. Frank Sinatra was on a lot. So really, anything.

Who has influenced your style of music?

That’s a tough question. I think it’s more the events in my life that influence my music. As for artists though, I listen to a lot of Lisa Hannigan and Damien Rice stuff. John Mayer and Joshua Radin are big ones too. Iron and Wine, William Fitzsimmons, Bon Iver. Anything that I feel actually has some emotion to it. I have to believe it. If it seems like the artist is putting on some sort of false front, I’m not a big fan.

I really enjoyed the music arrangement and lyrics in “Matter of Time.” What inspired you to write this song?

Well, one of my best friends from growing up is in a very successful band that’s always on the road. I’ll talk to him, and he tells me stories and shows me pictures and whatnot. Every time I talk to him, it just really reminds me how much I want to be doing that. “Matter of Time” is really just about the passion I have for what I do and the determination I have to make something of myself.

Where do you stand with making a profit on your music and how do you feel about musicians who are giving away their music for free?

It’s really tough for me. I mean, on one hand you have to make money to be able to live as a musician, but on the other hand, I feel so bad taking money from someone for something that I just enjoy doing. If I was able to have some success and save up some funds to live for a while, I would absolutely give away my albums for free. Radiohead is a great example of this. They made their living, then to give back, they let people pay what they wanted for their album. As a bonus for your readers though, I am going to give away We Were Able [Editor's Note: Keep an eye out for a CD Sampler of all Indie Acoustic artists coming June 4th] for free for the month of June. Being so underground, free stuff always helps you get out more.

What’s next for Nick Urb? Will you be touring in the future?

I have a few shows coming up in the next few months. Just some local festivals and stuff like that. I’m trying to put together a tour right now actually for the end of summer, early fall. I have some friends scattered around the east coast, so I’ll probably start there. Everything is still in the very early planning stages, so Facebook and Twitter are a good place to look if people want updates on all that.

What do you hope to achieve with your music?

Happiness. I just want to tour and play music, meet as many people as I possibly can. I absolutely love having conversations with new people. Every person has such a different outlook on everything. My music is always something that I can sit and play when I need it. Whether that be for 10,000 people, or just me alone at home. My music offers me an escape from everything going on around me. None of the hassles and stresses of our modern world matter when I’m playing. I can just forget them for a while. I hope my music can resonate with people and offer them the same peace that it gives me.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars!
Album: We Were Able
Release Date: March, 2012
Genre(s): folk, acoustic, indie, pop
Location: Clawson, Michigan
Band Members: Nick Urb
Facebook: www.facebook.com/nickurbmusic
Twitter: www.twitter.com/nickurbmusic
YouTube: www.youtube.com/nickurbmusic

Melissa Landrin

About Melissa Landrin

I've always wanted to teach and do something in music part time...looks like I'm finally doing it. Music is a passion of mine and I love everything music has to offer. You can always find me either out singing karaoke with friends, or going to small venues around Philly checking out awesome indie musicians (and teaching little ones in my spare time). Twitter: @novaccgirl

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