Caleb Nichols shares a genre-bending-ballad + a cover of a genre-defining-ballad.
“Feels Like Breaking" is a breakup song, but it’s a subgenre of breakup song that remains underexplored in music: the friend breakup. And in the wake of a pandemic of friend breakups during COVID, “Feels Like Breaking” is a cathartic ballad that's more about moving on from toxic relationships than it is about being stuck in the past. Mixed by Grammy-nominated mixer Cian Riordan (whose recent credits include mixes for St. Vincent, Beck, Sleater-Kinney and Paul McCartney) “Feels Like Breaking” is a giant leap forward for Caleb Nichols, an emerging, queer artist newly signed to Kill Rock Stars in 2021 and in the lead-up to their debut solo LP.
Nichols' cover of “Without You”, the genre-defining power ballad made popular by Harry Nilsson, is a study in restraint. Backed by the decidedly chill sounds of a Roland Mini Pops drum machine and Mellotron flutes, Nichols sings so quietly it's almost as if they’re singing to themself — a reinterpretation of a classic anthem that is typically reserved for vocalists, like Nilsson, who swing for the fences. “Without You” is a strangely samba-infused lounge recreation of the old classic tune.