The debut single by London-based songwriter Nick Harrison, 'First Kiss' is a smile and a swoon, a flight of butterflies in the tummy, a whirl
of emotions translated into sparkling guitars and bright synthesisers and spun out into a perfect three-minute pop song.
It isn't a song about your first ever kiss, nor is it about hooking up in a club, or locking tongues with a new lover. It's about something more complicated than that – the rekindling of an old flame, that awkward but exciting feeling of reviving a past relationship, with all the shared history, the memories and emotions that come with it. "It's about being nervous for what's coming up second time around," says Nick. "It's partly based on personal experience, partly on observation. But I think it's a sentiment that's quite easy to relate to – I mean, everyone's been there, haven't they?
Originally from Folkstone, Nick has been making music for some time now, bouncing through bands, writing songs, honing his craft. The song 'First Kiss' has been around for a couple of years, although when Nick played it in previous groups it never quite gelled – too poppy to sit next to the rest of the music, "too uncool", Nick laughs. "But that kind of felt natural, it was very much me," he says. "I'm a fan of the three-minute pop song, unashamedly – I love that format. But it's about taking that old songwriting and injecting it with new sounds."
With its limber percussion and crisp synthesisers, 'First Kiss' has a pop sensibility that harks back to other masters of the form. "The idea is to make '70s style guitar pop songs, like Squeeze, but with elements of '80s funk – I love the sound of synthesisers," says Nick. "Squeeze, Devo, Prince – that's the stuff I love."
Helping him in this mission is rising young Stoke Newington studio engineer and songwriter Dan Radclyffe, aka Utters, best known for his work on Maverick Sabre's recent Top 5 album 'Lonely Are The Brave'. "More than ever I appreciate how good working with him is – he always knows exactly what's needed."
The next step is to put together a band – but he's in no hurry. "It'll be a four piece, but I'm just trying to figure out what vibe I want for it. At gigs, I've just been pulling a band together, teaching them the songs on the guitar and taking it from there. It's been really fun actually, quite liberating - it reminds me of when I started out."
There's live dates on the horizon, and the promise of an EP before the end of the year. For now, though, you've got 'First Kiss' to spin over and over. Give it a spin: it sounds fresh, but it feels like falling in love, all over again.