In a world that seems more complicated each day, Andrea Nixon’s music provides a refreshing remedy through its honest simplicity. The title of her debut album, Diary of a Housewife, suggests only part of the story though. Yes, the 11-song collection documents Nixon’s rise as a critically acclaimed independent singer/songwriter, while balancing the demands of managing a family at the same time. But the universally relatable stories that provide the foundation of Diary of a Housewife leave no stone unturned in exploring the landscape of heartache, angst, joy and humour with eyes wide open and heart in hand.
In many respects, Nixon is following in the footsteps of trailblazing female artists like Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton by bravely revealing herself through her music. In other respects, Diary of a Housewife is strikingly modern, seamlessly combining traditional country elements with, at key moments, rough-edged pop and rock. Tying it all together is Nixon’s irresistible, unaffected voice, capable of raging at an ex-lover on “You Didn’t Make Me” and expressing deep sorrow on “Waiting For Sirens,” while exuding pure charm on “Million Miles Away” and conveying an audible wink on the playful “Song Without A Name.”
The track’s underlying message is to find the courage to be exactly who you are, something Nixon has never shied away from as a self-described “sensitive scrapper” with a tireless work ethic. As proof, she launched into 2018 by performing at the Association of Country Music of Alberta (ACMA) Awards’ Fan Fest, along with Rogers Hometown Hockey festivities in Airdrie, Alberta. That was followed up with a Via Rail Artists On Board tour hitting five cities in Ontario and Quebec, with additional western Canadian tour dates in the spring.
It’s all been built on the ever-growing acclaim for Diary of a Housewife, which spent 14 consecutive weeks on Earshot’s national Roots, Blues & Folk Chart, and its latest single “Homefront,” which was added to CBC Country on SiriusXM Canada. Further, the album picked up national distribution through Sunrise Records, while Nixon participated in Canada’s Music Incubator’s Artist Entrepreneurship Program hosted by the National Music Centre in Calgary.
Nixon’s other achievements include earning an Edmonton Music Award nomination for Country Recording of the Year (2018) and Artist To Watch (2017), and being named a finalist in the Project Wild Artist Development Program, a partnership between Alberta Music and Calgary’s Peak 95.3 aimed at launching the careers of Alberta’s next generation of country stars. She proved this was well-deserved as the album’s first single, “You Didn’t Make Me” won Storyhive’s 2015 Music Video Award, bringing it to the attention of Air Canada music programmers. The next single “Innerglow” was subsequently picked up by 35 terrestrial stations, along with CBC and SiriusXM, leading to a 2017 tour of prestigious venues including Toronto’s Dakota Tavern.
Still, Nixon’s bonds to communities across Alberta remain strong. As an extension of “Waiting For Sirens,” she has launched an awareness campaign, in partnership with Alberta Music and Project Wild, on behalf of families affected by violence. Visiting and performing in shelters around the province, she is gathering the stories of frontline workers and survivors as part of a video series aimed at raising funds to buy gifts for children living in the shelters.