Actress, filmmaker, writer and comedian Noël Wells added yet another title – musician – to her impressive resumé with the release of It’s So Nice!, her debut record, on Friday, August 30. It’s So Nice! comprises 11 modern folk-rock tracks that, though at times mellow, are dynamic and engaging in their intimate, introspective structure.
Wells’ music shifts between folk, rock and pop on It’s So Nice!, but there are several constants throughout: Wells’ voice is velvety-soft, her guitar melodies are unexpected yet pleasant, and everything about her songs is beautiful. Whether tracks are sweet and slow (“Sunrise”) or tender and intricate (“Star”) or downright haunting (“Silverlake”), Wells maintains a steady, warm folk sound throughout. The album is delicate without feeling fragile, and even on the heartier, heftier tracks, there is a levity to the folk music.
Still, despite its almost idyllic folk sound, the lyrical content of It’s So Nice! is varied yet authentic. The title track shows emotional vulnerability and growth (“I used to hate myself/Now it’s a pretty hate/I used to shame myself/Now it’s a pretty shame”), whereas “Sunrise” features a series of soothing vignettes (“Sunrise on the hills/Starlight’s got its fill” and “Come what may/Until the sunlight goes away”) and “Burn It All Down” has a bit of an edge (“I’m ready to run, run, run my mouth”).
The songwriting is the highlight on this album, after all. It’s clear that the music and lyrics of It’s So Nice! were hand-crafted and intentionally created for each track, and the songs fit together neatly as chapters in a beautiful folk novel. The fact that Wells’ songs are so well-defined is mildly surprising given that she bought a guitar and taught herself how to play only three years ago, after a period of emotional turmoil.
“I was at a classic sort of ‘artist figuring themselves out’ emotional low in 2016. I felt pretty lost and really overwhelmed,” said Wells in an email. “[The songwriting] wasn’t pre-meditated, the songs sort of popped out of me, and I had to follow. I felt like they were conveying what I wanted to say better than being on Twitter yelling into a void.”
Wells, who has been a “Saturday Night Live!” cast member, played Rachel on “Master of None” and wrote, directed and starred in “Mr. Roosevelt,” can now add a stunning debut album to her list of accomplishments. Check out It’s So Nice! on all streaming platforms, and listen to the album via Spotify below.