Crusher is an intensely personal album. Niki wrote it about her journey of going through a divorce and then being surprised to find love. It follows the trepidation of the transition from bad marriage to good new relationship. Initially, she planned to record and release it in 2020 with her singing and playing guitar. Then COVID happened and ironically opened doors to working with new musicians in new ways. The album features both JT Bates (Alpha Consumer, Bonny Light Horseman, Taylor Swift) and Dan Elston-Jones (Banner Pilot) on drums, Megan Mahoney (Lissie) on bass, Holly Hansen (Zoo Animal) on lead guitar, and Addie Strei on flute and sax.
Given these news tools, she built a different album. Each song builds on itself, the players and Niki’s love of many genres of music. Nothing Lasts Forever is a jazz tune. Interesting to hear that the saxophone was the last instrument added; a demonstration that the final spice can make the meal! The Scenery is the perfect 2-minute pop punk song. January is an ode to the 1990s with hints of Molly Ringwald dancing. The styles run the gambit. The moods and the messages are diverse but the conclusion is amazing and happy.
This will certainly become the soundtrack to some people’s life because Niki has written honestly about life’s journey. For many they will have a few faves. For most this is the sort of album you can listen to repeatedly and for years. It has longevity.