nicotine's famous honey an open letter

Nicotine’s Famous Honey practices the art of letting go on their latest project.

Nicotine’s Famous Honey is a combination of Dallas and Houston; allowed to bloom and grow together in New York City. Houston based singer Nicotine linked up with two thirds of Herrick & Hooley, Ian Onley & Hunter Lewis. The Texhoma boys made the move up north, just as Nicotine was making her own excursion to the city of bright lights. Yet their first excursion together decides to look back and pull away from all the tethers of love gone awry, home cooked meals & more.

An Open Letter combines Southern wit with subtlety. Well, Nicotine is all but subtle in her letter to an ex. The opening frame of the album begins with her laughing, scoffing and feeling free. The drama, torment and anguish of giving her love and energy to someone who didn’t deserve it is exhaled like a long drag. She admits to cheating and hoping the act could be felt for a thousand years. Her ex-lover bowed at her feet, only to step on them once he stood up. “I’m going to be donating plenty to the swear jar,” she hastily admits.

Their first excursion together decides to look back and pull away from all the tethers of love gone awry, home cooked meals & more.

As An Open Letter sprawls out, songs like “Running” allow us into Nicotine’s world. At times, it was bleak. “I can’t be running these streets no more,” she sings. Sex couldn’t get her to escape her thoughts. Not from her mother whom she clashed with, even if she misses her. But does her mother miss her enough just to stand her? Or does she love her unconditionally? Onley & Lewis soundtrack thoughts of getting high by the Brazos River with snaps and warm guitars. Bright piano keys transition into handclaps. The move to Brooklyn didn’t swallow the boys up. It made everybody better.

“If I die young, tell the world about my music,” Nicotine says. “Tell them all the things I’ve done and all the shit that I have ruined.” It’s bleak, fatalist even. Moments before, the trio were laughing, mixing California slang with Houston styled comfort on “Bantu Knots And Boudain”. Sweet guitars bring it all to make it feel like the blues. Intoxicating, make you consider your own surroundings blues. There’s fatigue, but also strength and resolve found within all of it. And Nicotine’s voice, a combination of Texas sweet now meshed with NYC grime is appealing. It’s as if she’s inhaled all of the drama, strife and pain and contorted it into an appeasing, poetic dance.

Herrick & Hooley were already favored sons of the state. Nicotine, a blue singer born in the age of early 00s hip-hop is a caged bird who had to get away. When she lets her voice rise, the boys’ guitars and fluttering keyboard notes sit underneath to catch her fall. Nicotine isn’t bound to the ground anymore. She’s long in the air, aware of what she’s flying away from yet unsure exactly what the final destination is.