photo by Amber Martin design by Dave Fleminger & Normandie Wilson

photo by Amber Martin
design by Dave Fleminger & Normandie Wilson

Normandie Wilson Is Tired of Being Nice - 2015

Nominated for "Best Pop Album" at the 2015 San Diego Music Awards

"Normandie Wilson is back, and she means business... as the title implies, Wilson is here to tell it like it is. Songs like "We Had A Little Affair" and "Sweeheart" grab you in the throat with their unvarnished truths about love and sex, and that matter-of-factness gives Wilson's usual mild-mannered cabaret an immensely satisfying shot in the arm."

- Owl & Bear

Geography and Other Problems - 2013

Nominated for "Best Pop Album"
2014 San Diego Music Awards

"Wilson gets a lot of Burt Bacharach comparisons. It's a fair association, and Wilson regularly cites him as an influence, but she's never been as Bacharach-y as she is here - her strongest work yet. A song like "A Lack of You" is a perfect example of Wilson as an artist in full control - vocals out front, with minimal accompaniment, as she confidently turns a tale of heartbreak into an easy-going standard in the making. It'll be interesting to see where she goes from here."

- Scott McDonald, San Diego CityBeat

photo by Amber Martin design by Gordon Wagner

photo by Amber Martin
design by Gordon Wagner

"...a vintage siren at heart and in the pipes. By definition, an anachronism is “a thing belonging or appropriate to a period other than that in which it exists, esp. a thing that is conspicuously old-fashioned”, and this is a proper way to address Wilson’s music. It really is from another era.

Geography and Other Problems opens with “Don’t Use My Words Against Me”, a very chill jazz lounge track. It has that “I’m telling you like it is, so pay attention” swagger of a lot of the old standards. There is a lot of power in this track, and Wilson’s soft touch comes off as something like a veiled threat. A great way to kick things off... 

“Cold Rain, Malmö” follows, a hip, groovy instrumental with a solid chord progression and a great hook. “Meanwhile” is a wicked bossa nova track with some Swedish influence..

“A Lack of You” is a very soft and sweet track, highlighting Wilson’s vocals and employing a modest piano. “Mirrors Strung Upon Necklaces” follows in the same vein, albeit a bit poppier and quick-paced than some of the other tracks. Really, these tracks have a bit more modern of a feel to them, more like something Norah Jones or Regina Spektor might do, but Wilson performs here, too. She certainly has that smoky, sultry voice that is coveted by lounge and jazz singers all over.

Geography and Other Problems brings with it a healthy mix of vintage, classic, and modern, so that it’s almost difficult to tell where you are. Fans of jazz, lounge and standards: rejoice in this unexpected release."

-Sean Elliot, The Daily Album

"Having witnessed Wilson perform at a variety of venues from house parties to headline club nights, the way her songs hit a crowd is impressive. It’s like they’ve suddenly run into an old friend. People stop. People listen. People smile."

- Bart Mendoza, San Diego Troubadour

 

"From the first tune it is apparent that Wilson has a gift for capturing a soft, catchy hook and that her piano playing is fluid and lyrical... She can write a good lyric, and all are printed in the liner notes.

“Before I Go” is an interesting song, starting as the most interesting instrumental on the disc with Wilson playing vibes to a surging percussion wave, bringing in trumpet and other horns as it builds - then, at almost three minutes, she sings a quick verse over the top, “Before I go, please won’t you hold me? Don’t let me go.” A big arrangement anchors the final track, “Stop My Heart,” at five minutes the magnum opus here and another standout. It takes a page from numerous Bacharach tunes with a small piano/vocal opening that builds, adding catchy melody as guitar, drums, and the rest of the wall of sound join in for the rousing chorus at the end, sort of like “Close to You.”"

- Frank Kocher, San Diego Troubadour

"...Normandie Wilson’s jazzy lounge pop is perfect for when you are in the mood for something vintage and classy. This is her latest release...and it’s a great album. Although it’s music from another era, it’s also very refreshing to hear in a world currently obsessed with synth sounds. It’s nice to know that music like this is still being made and appreciated. Highlights on the album include powerful chill jazz lounge opener ‘Don’t Use My Words Against Me’, sophisticated and groovy instrumental ‘Cold Rain, Malmö’, bossa nova number ‘Meanwhile’ and the silky and charming, more modern-inspired tracks ‘A Lack of You’ which highlights Normandie’s sultry vocals in the best possible way and ‘Mirrors Strung Upon Necklaces’ which has a poppier feel. All in all a perfect slice of 60’s pop with a modern twist."

-Women in Music

 

"With her stylish circa 1962 hairdo, glittering gowns, and Bacharach-inspired repertoire, pianist Normandie Wilson's residency at The Lafayette Hotel may be just about the perfect match of artist and venue. Wilson will be playing every Wednesday and Thursday in the hotel's lobby from 4-6pm, with a great mix of classics in her repertoire and even a few of her own gems that fit the same mold. Best of all, she has a wonderful stage presence and wit to match, making her performances more than just a fun listen. Fans of the late Red Fox Room pianist Shirley Allen would approve."

- Bart Mendoza, North Park News

ModPianocover.jpg

Mod Piano (EP) - 2013  

"Mixing pop, jazz and soul, Normandie Wilson is a rare talent. Taking a page from Bacharach and other piano-based tunesmiths with a jazzy edge, Wilson has penned a batch of songs that come across like lost classics or the perfect soundtrack to a “Mad Men” episode."   

- Bart Mendoza, La Jolla Today

photo by Clémence Veilhan design by Megan Tarr

photo by Clémence Veilhan
design by Megan Tarr

At The Heart of Staying In Love (EP) - 2012

 "The six-track effort is one of Wilson’s most intimate releases yet, dealing with the “dissolution” of a three-year relationship with her former band mate. (So, a breakup.) Wilson’s heart may be broken, but her knack for songwriting ain’t. At The Heart of Staying In Love is a focused, assured release that uses revealing lyrics and bittersweet wit as musical therapy. Wilson’s warm keyboards and storytelling croon are put to good use throughout the EP, but the standout track is the showtune-y “My Careful Lover,” a winking piano ballad that channels the emotional nudism of Ellen Greene in Little Shop of Horrors‘ “Somewhere That’s Green.”

- Chris Maroulakos, Owl & Bear

 

"San Diego-based singer/songwriter Normandie Wilson's smooth, crisp melodies are a bubbly reminder that preserved music can relate to a new generation if its time-capsulated sounds are shared by an artist willing to hone in on its authenticity. Wilson's swanky, '60s pop-inspired sounds may be best suited for a dimly lit, basement-level lounge equipped with jazzy retro furniture and honest martinis."

- Steven Ashford, Hear Nebraska

"This EP is reportedly the result of an intense breakup with a former bandmate, and Wilson digs into some deeply personal feelings on here. In spite of that, it's a pretty, laid-back, gentle listen: "You Oughta Know," this ain't. Rather, Wilson has a classic jazz-pop sensibility, adding touches of Motown and Brill Building pop... Altogether charming. Something tells me she'll get through this one OK."

- Jeff Terich, San Diego CityBeat

design by Magnificent Beard

design by Magnificent Beard

 Saturday Night Girl (7") - 2011

"Smooth and loungey, Wilson’s piano-driven songs of love stop short of being jazzy but definitely fit into the Inara George/Becky Stark world of torch songs by women with lovely voices. The B side is a sad breakup song about figuring out how to halve one’s life at the end of a relationship, with the most mournful flute I may have ever heard. But “Saturday Night Girl” is pop perfection, spinning a very classy Dionne Warwick vibe around the excitement of going with a guy up to a room and doing what man and woman do. Wilson’s vocal delivery is sexy, but the song isn’t lustful–this is a joyous song with trumpets like beams of sunlight coming in the bedroom window."

- D. M. Collins, L.A. Record

"A double slice of cool, smoky, lounge jazz of the kind you just don't hear too often anymore. Normandie has a coquettish voice that dances like a stream of light upon the late-night jazz beat. Nice trumpet and flute add to the silvery lounge feeling, filling out the space in the jazz trio of bass, drums, and piano. Both songs are sweet confections of ultra-cool, martini-sipping, diamond-wearing swing pop. I'd get up and dance, but I've been barred from doing that in public. Don't think Norah Jones here. Think Playboy Club in Vegas in 1962."

- The Ripple Effect

Summers Are For Lovers (EP) - 2011

"If Burt Bacharach were to be reincarnated as a plucky songstress with a love for birds, you'd have Normandie Wilson... Wilson is about to strike musical gold again with the release of 'Summers Are for Lovers.' The five-song EP has everything her fans have come to expect, from the precocious vocals of the lead single 'Just a Little Time' to the poppy introspection of 'Every Morning's a Chance to Make Things Right' to the impressive instrumentation of the closing track, 'Beach at Night.' Throughout it all, Wilson's wry, sugarcoated wit keeps the listener hanging on every lyric."

- Chris Maroulakos, NBC San Diego

"Really, it reminded me of Cole Porter. Most of the songs were sentimental, about both the lack and the possession of love. But more than that, her cadence, sense of melody and definitely her slightly quirky narrative lyrics all said show tunes to me.

With each new tune I couldn't help but imagine a big theatrical set behind her, with characters singing the words that fit into some improbable romance that could never be or never should have been."

- Chris Miller, redandblack.com

 

photo by Normandie Wilson no starfish were harmed in the taking of this photo

photo by Normandie Wilson
no starfish were harmed in the taking of this photo

photo by Michael Vasquez design by Megan McGaughy

photo by Michael Vasquez
design by Megan McGaughy

The Flower Box - 2010

"For the most part, The Flower Box is filled with sweet, charming, semi-awkward 60's inspired pop that brings to mind a female version of Ben Folds (if he listened to more Motown and Astrud Gilberto). For all the layers of handclaps, horns, and twinkling keyboards, nothing feels overworked - rather, the sparse arrangements sound so fizzy and frothy that they threaten to float away at any moment and take your heart with them. But every so often, the odd understated instrumental composition pops up to ground it all and show Wilson's talents in an entirely new light. It's these moments that set The Flower Box apart and really make it sparkle."

- Sasha Orman, San Diego CityBeat

"What is a girl to do when her musical kindred spirits are singers like Karen Carpenter, Dusty Springfield, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, but she just happened to be born a few decades too late? Well, if you're Normandie Wilson, you openly embrace your quirky influences and use them to create music that's both original and timeless, yet with a uniquely modern spin, something like a bizarre mix of Regina Spektor, a female Ben Folds, and Bjork during her 'It's Oh So Quiet' phase."

- Casey Jones, Flamethrower Magazine

"Cute. Catchy. Sexy. Those are three words I'd use to describe the music of Normandie Wilson, a painter/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist with a particular penchant for piano and smart pop lyrics. [The Flower Box] is terrific - a collection of pop songs washed between instrumental pieces that are interesting and perfect transitions between her fun songs and her more introspective ones. It's a keeper thats grown on me more and more with every listen."

 - Berkeley Place

"Singing in a sweet voice that recalls Camera Obscura's Tracyanne Campbell, Normandie Wilson plays sweet, wide-eyed, 60's lounge pop with tiki and French-pop undertones."

- Express Milwaukee

"I like to think of the L.A. neighborhood of Silverlake as the center of the indie pop world at this particular moment. I'm not sure if Ms. Wilson actually resides there, but her sound certainly fits in with the likes of Bird And The Bee and others of that ilk. Stripped down naive fun pop for those who bow in reverence at the mention of Harry Nilsson."

 - Russel Forster, Pirate Cat Radio

"Lyrically, Wilson is heads above the rest, writing about familiar subjects like love and love lost with acerbic wit and humor... Most tunes are piano-based and quite beautiful, highlighting Wilson's training in classic jazz."

- Bill Sullivan, Bill's Music Forum