inside nicole dollanganger

“Anything that is beautiful people want to break, and you are beautiful I’m afraid.” A lyric from "Ugly" by Nicole Dollanganger. The soft, horrorcore, baby-voiced Canadian is more than people think; once you first listen to a track you’re so overwhelmed by the cute voice that is singing. But when you sit down and listen to the lyrics, they’re a lot more sinister.

Nicole Dollanganger is a Canadian based artist and has been on the rise for 4 years now. But she has recently been brought out to the public in 2016, when singer/songwriter Grimes asked for her to join on tour. Nicole absolutely accepted the offer. Despite having stage fright, she figured out a way to handle it when she went on stage- just by talking with the audience and acting as a family. As for going on tour with Grimes, she has also been popular for her song "Chapel," which was played in an episode of The Walking Dead, and went on another tour in 2017 with artists Teen Suicide, and Elvis Depressedly.

Nicole started making music on Tumblr, first just finding people who were like-minded as her, then getting people to listen to her covers. She admits that the first song she released on Tumblr she wanted to delete, thinking that no one would like it or it was too awful for anyone to listen.

Dollanganger is known for her soft, sweet, child-like voice, though her songs are more dark and full of horror. In an interview with NYLON Magazine, she said that she doesn’t like the lower register of her voice and settled on the higher part, making her more comfortable. Blatantly, she stated, “...your voice is your voice, and there’s a way I’m comfortable singing.” Nicole also explained that she gets her style and influence from Marilyn Manson and Type O Negative, saying she loves the mix of horror and softness that they give, and that it fits her own, personal style.

At a young age, she has always loved gore, being called ‘bloodthirsty” by her father. This is still true today, as she is in love with anything horror, like movies, learning about and writing songs about school shootings, and killers. As for her love of horror, she even has a pug named "Fred" after Freddy Kruger. Once she hit high school, shyness took over her; luckily, she met people at hardcore punk shows that were very like-minded in regards to herself. In her later teens, one of her friends ended up in a car crash, which inspired her to write the song “Coma Baby,” being the first real song she ever wrote and recorded (besides her covers).

Her songs speak about controversial and occasionally gruesome topics. Even some song and album titles can show the grossness of her music. As she sings about sexual assault/culture, sickness, death, skulls, and all other sorts of grotesque imagery. She gets this from her motivations, as previously said: horror movies, artists, and her love for funerals and dolls. She tries to tie the dark and light things together, instead of them being separate; Dollanganger finds a way to have a good mix of both in her songs.

Nicole has 5 albums out as of now, Curdled Milk being the first of the collection. This album speaks about her personal life and is very close to her heart, having her first song, “Coma Baby,” as the introduction song on the album. Her second album is “Flowers of Flesh and Blood,” which is an ode to the Columbine shooting. She was so inspired and intrigued on the way media presented the story that she wanted to know more and put her inspiration and research into her songwriting.

Nicole has made one music video for her song “Angels of Porn.” The idea of the music video came from one of her guitarist's, Matt, suggesting that it should be “A bunch of dudes eating carnival food.” That was the start of the idea, and she wanted to get the same feel from doing something off of that idea. So, her and a bunch of her friends made the video of them eating ice cream, having a heated bit of Matt and Kevin going at a cone, and other grungy things that went with it. The video took two hours to shoot, and putting the video together and it’s now “Angels Of Porn.”

With Nicole’s aesthetic, it’s very hard to tell if she will blow up to a big star, though she prefers the low, indie rocker she is. Dollanganger is recently working on a new album called Hillbilly Noir, and should hopefully be out by the end of 2017. But as we wait for that beautiful masterpiece, we can listen to her albums on Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube, and other music sites. ✉

piece by: bry brentnall



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