Post-Tour Depression

Post-Tour Depression is a very real thing that is seldom talked about. Almost instantly, you go from being a pirate—beloved and heroic, crossing America in an “On The Road” Keouracian style with purpose, yet reckless abandon—to total stasis—tired, numb, alone, hunched over, folding clean socks into a drawer in your room, wondering if any of it was real. 
First tour I went on, I was wrecked for a month. Next tour, it was a few weeks, then days. When I came home this past Sunday it was the first time I was actually happy to be home, excited to see people I love and the community here. Maybe things in life never get easier, but just the way we see them, approach them, and make meaning out of them do.

Anyway, I’m content to just be able to sit, and play one of my favorite songs on guitar, “Ten Years Gone” by Led Zeppelin.

I’m recording “LA” today, and starting an acoustic EP.

Kyle Nicolai
Tour Update

I’m finishing up the second half of this tour with Alec Benjamin and I can genuinely say it’s been the most fun I’ve ever had playing shows and being on the road. 

To every new person I’ve met, you make my life exponentially better. I’m privileged and honored to meet you and hear your stories. In the most non-hippie, non-bullshitty way, it fills my heart and spirit, and inspires me wildly.

Photo by

Photo by

Kyle Nicolai
Now Or Nowhere, Vol. 1 EP

On November 21st my EP, Now Or Nowhere, Vol. 1 will be streaming everywhere!

Now Or Nowhere, Vol. 1 is an EP about trying to make sense and find meaning in a world that seemingly gets worse by the day. It’s about looking for positivity while wrapping your head around the external madness of life.

The intent was to make an EP that genuinely broadcasts my identity to the world. There was no regard to genre, or style. Just a drive to be as honest, transparent, and genuine as I can, and say, “This is who I am at this time and point of my life, and this is what I genuinely, and honestly have to say.”

Kyle Nicolai
Alec Benjamin Tour

I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be heading out on tour with Alec Benjamin from Nov. 8th-Dec. 8th! Check out Shows page for dates!

Alec Benjamin - Kyle Nicolaides tour pic.JPG
Kyle Nicolai
"Space Between Us"

I read somewhere that every single species on the planet takes its time to bloom and run its natural course, except for humans. We are the only species on the planet who want to rush the organic process, find short cuts and life hack everything so we can be faster, stronger, richer, and better. What we lose in that mindset is trusting, and enjoying the process, but more importantly, when we think like this, we just wholly piss away the present moment.

 We don’t trust that we will grow in our own unique time, and we compare our start with another person’s finish. A budding rose doesn’t look over at other roses with jealously that a flower in the next row over has already blossomed. They just reach toward the sun, and feel warmth

I love recording music because you never can guess or force the path a song will take, but merely surrender and follow it. “Space Between Us” is a song I wrote in 2011, about being torn apart from someone you love. I cut basics for in 2012, (before Beware of Darkness was even a thing), it then made the short list for both BOD albums, but always was forgotten. I finished a version for Sanctuary Season, got it mixed and mastered, but then the hard drive was destroyed and it was forever lost. Finally this year, after life settled down, I realized I had so much material that just fell through the cracks, I decided to sort through everything to find the songs that stood the test of time that I truly loved, in hopes of finishing and releasing them. “Space Between Us” was the first on that list.

I re-cut it this year & in a clichéd, almost “hindsight is 20-20” way, I finally had the production technique, and vision to know how to finish it. I, like the song, needed to run my own unique course, in order to even understand how to finish it. It’s an almost like, vapid, example that screaming at a rose won’t make it bloom any faster. The song process ran it’s course, and now it finally finds its way to you. 

 The song starts w/ vocals in 2012 & ends w/ vocals I cut last month. It’s two completely different people singing on this track. One who sang with pain and isolation in a moment now eternally frozen, and one who has been come up from the other side, years later, weathered, wary, but grateful for the process. 

Kyle Nicolai
Reflections on the “American Hymns” acoustic video.

I had a wonderful moment this year where I opened my eyes and realized I’ve been given some lifelong creative partnerships that the more I reflect on, the more sacred they become to me.  You can’t force or fake them or shortcut the trust they require, and time is the only real indicator of their strength. 

When I watch this video, what I treasure most aside from the music, are the relationships I’ve been lucky enough to be blessed with over the years, and that’s what I’m most thankful for. 

I’m fortunate enough to have known Cara Robbins and have worked with her since we were both teenagers. Claudio Cueni, who recorded and mixed the audio, I’ve known and worked with since I was 17.  Emily Candaux, the cellist, illuminated my life in college.

While to an outside eye, the video is just a live acoustic performance, to me, it was a chance to spend the day with 3 people who have ultimately changed my life for the better, who’s faith and trust in each other is synergistic, and that experience was just entirely soul filling. These 3 always have an open room, with a cookie on the pillow, in the hotel that is my heart.

I’m proud of Cara for courageously saying yes to make this video because it was her first dip into the medium, and there wasn’t a single second I doubted she wouldn’t knock it out of the park.

Directed / Shot - Cara Robbins

Cello – Emily Candaux

Recorded / Mixed Claudio Cueni

Kyle Nicolai
Daily Routine

Hitting the studio in July to finish 6 songs, & thought I’d share what I’m doing daily to prepare.

-morning pages (wake up & fill 3 pages in a journal no matter what)
-10 min of object writing
-35 min vocal warmup
-sing the 6 songs I’m recording 5x a day
-finish as many new songs as I can, & out-write the material I already have
-2 vocal lessons w/ Katy Riggs
-write 5 vocal melodies a day
-write 5 guitar ideas a day
-fill 3 pages of lyrics a day
-read everyday
Transcendental Meditation 
-record as much as I possibly can in SB
-do these everyday no matter how I feel, then get the fuck out of my own way
Musicians are the only people who don’t talk about their process. Comedians do, athletes do, but musicians are still veiled in fucking secrecy. I’m just trying to document the journey. 

Kyle Nicolai
5 Things I Do When I’m Depressed.

1. Force myself to exercise, do yoga, run, etc. Idea is that a physical state change will change your emotional state. Key word being force.

2. Find 3 things to be thankful for; one person, one small thing (I have a tongue to taste tea), & & one other thing. (Anything) I also make a small list of things I’ve done right today or this week. Idea is, when you’re truly grateful there’s no room for fear (Tony Robbins)

3. Give; be a light to others. If I don’t feel happy, I’ll try to make someone else happy. A smile even works. Idea is, If you want something you have to be willing to give it away at first.

4. Be kind to myself, practice self love, lovingkindness. It’s ok to have bad days, weeks, or even months. We have different seasons of life. You’re allowed to be sad some days. It’s ok. Go see a movie, and be nice to yourself.

5. Give it up to something greater. If I’m afraid or anxious it’s cos I’m relying on my humanity to get me through, instead of trusting there’s an god / creator / whatever the fuck you want to call it who is infinite in love, creativity, & possibilities for your life, & genuinely wants the best for you.

I felt compelled to write this. I hope it helps. DM me for book recommendations. 🌹

Kyle Nicolai
On Failure

After Orthodox, even going around the world multiple times, playing on TV, and having a Top 5 Rock song, I still felt like a complete failure. Instead of seeing that I started with literally nothing, and got from A to B, I was more concerned I didn’t get from A to G. All I could see was what I didn’t have & what I didn’t accomplish. It wrecked me for months. One day, after a vocal lesson with Katy Riggs, I was sitting in gridlock in Hancock Park, surrounded by massive houses & palm trees, when I realized, this is it. This is as bad as “failure” gets. No one is going to get out of their car & scream at me, calling me a loser, & holding up a handmade sign saying I failed. No one cares. Your "failure" is just as bad as the hardest time you give yourself. As soon as I forgave myself and allowed myself to move on, my feelings & the idea of failure was gone. In that moment, or any moment, I could decide to change how I saw it. When you realize failure is just a hard time you give yourself, and nothing external, it’s total freedom.

An Update

i'm really excited to let you guys know what I’ve been up to lately. this Friday, I’m releasing my first song from my solo project. a lot of heart went into this and I can’t wait to share it with you. thanks for listening. this is just the beginning.  “American Hymns” out this Friday.

Kyle Nicolai