Nick Bordman’s single “All Around” will be featured on his next EP, which will be released in the next few months.
A Waterloo resident is reviving traditional country music by reaching out to a modern audience with the release of his latest single, “All Around”.
Nick Bordman, who currently attends Seneca College for independent writing and performance, was born and raised in Waterloo. But growing up, his father had a property in Petersburg, where he says he was exposed to the allure of country life.
“It is still a large agricultural region. My family has always fished, and we loved the outdoors and stuff like that, ”he said.
Then, in high school, he met artists like George Strait, Hank Williams Jr. and Johnny Cash.
“And I was just fascinated by it. I fell into the rabbit hole and couldn’t stop listening; I started to buy vinyls and CDs. And I think the big point for me was that a good country song is almost like it’s been taken out of your life. And I really bonded with that.
For Bordman, those older country songs with strong narrative narratives really resonated with the melodrama of high school life.
“A lot of things they were addressing, I could really relate to,” he said. And since then he’s been obsessed with that older, more traditional country sound, but especially the work of Hank Williams Jr.
“Its entire catalog covers blues, traditional country and bluegrass. It covers topics like grief, mental health, the outdoors – all of these various topics that resonated with me. “
For a long time, that’s all he listened to. “It’s pretty funny because here is this guy in his 70s from a completely different time, a completely different geographic location in the world, but still connected to me.” he said.
In fact, it was Williams Jr. who made him realize this was something he wanted to pursue on his own. In 2018, having never left Canada before, he convinced his father to take him to Kentucky to see Williams Jr. in concert.
“Just being there and seeing that atmosphere, the way people reacted to his music and the way he played up there, I just remember there and then I said to my dad, ‘it’s exactly what I want to do. “
Now, writing songs of this nature is a cathartic outlet, “a way for me to convey whatever I am feeling, or to work through any situation I might be faced with at that time,” said he declared.
He wants his sound to derive from older, more traditional country music, while also bringing in a more modern element.
“[With pop country] the lyrics aren’t really based on a certain story, just what’s going to sell. So for me, at least, it’s kind of a disconnect in terms of emotion to go through; the message that is trying to get across is lost in that commercialized sound, ”he said.
“I like to think [my music falls] somewhere in between, like a bridge between that older country sound, but making it accessible to the modern audience without being completely a pop sound or a completely modernized country sound.
Although a relatively new artist, he has already been recognized for his work.
In November 2020, he was chosen as the Fresh Picks artist on Country 93, which allowed him to be broadcast on several country stations. In early January, the music video for her song “Tread Lightly” was nominated for a Canadian Independent Music Video Award.
His latest single is the first single from his upcoming EP, which he hopes to release in the coming months. Because the album is filled with “that kind of sad old country songs,” he wanted to add something more fun to it. This is where “All Around” comes in.
“What I really wanted was that country boogie rock sound, like ‘Boot Scootin’ Boogie ‘,” he said. “I brought [my producer] the song and I said ‘listen, I wrote this but I don’t know which way to take this’. And we just had fun with a few things and finally developed that kind of country rock sound.
“I think it fits together well, because the last few years we’ve had with COVID, we haven’t been able to get together. So I wanted to come out with something playful, happy and just something that people can enjoy with each other when we can, ”he said. “It’s just about having a good time.
The album is produced by fellow Waterloo local Matt Koebel. Bordman says they hope to play a few shows once the album is released.