It all started with a girls’ trip to Hawaii.
Four Alberta prairie girls headed out on a fun songwriting trip, but little did they know they’d be hitting the road with Life is a Highway’s Tom Cochrane among many other great musical moments.
Those girls are now known as the group Nice Horse, and they’ll riding on out to Westerner Days July 19th to perform.
Forming the group is Kaley Debra, Katie Marie, Brandi Caroline and Krista Lee, all who have been friends for a long time before starting their ‘girls just wanna have fun’ type band.
“Brandi and I might go back the longest of about 10 years. She’s the bass player, and her and our drummer Krista were in a duo project together and then Kaley, our guitar player, her and Brandi have toured together in the past when they were both doing solo projects, so we refer to ourselves as being musical allies for a long time,” said Marie.
And it’s their girls’ trip to Hawaii that grew into their musical journey.
“We wrote like 20 to 25 songs in a couple of days and all of them were country songs,” said Marie, adding that it soon occurred to them that they were a band right then and there.
Marie said they began thinking it would just be a drinking band, that they would get together playing songs during the Stampede for fun with best friends. “As we started forming the project and telling some people about what we were doing, they just got really excited and they were like, ‘This is a real project, you girls take this seriously. I think you could really do well with it.’”
And do well with it they did, already having some big shows under their belts.
One may wonder, however, how the girls picked Nice Horse out of all the band names out there, and Marie said they wanted to include horses somehow in the name.
“Two of us grew up on farms and grew up riding horses,” she said.
One of the stories she recalled came from a discussion involving Brandi’s dad.
Marie said the girls were talking about the time he tried to keep Krista awake while having her watch The Man From Snowy River, with Brandi’s dad saying, ‘Stay awake Krista, stay awake. Look, that’s a nice horse!’
And the name was born.
Marie, who grew up in Airdrie, now resides in Vancouver, but said coming back to perform in Alberta is always home for her. “It’s where I lived for most of my life, so it’s nice to come back here and I also get to see a lot of familiar faces. At every show I’ve played so far I’ve seen either somebody from high school or somebody from college.”
Marie started her journey into singing when she was just a little girl.
“My sister was a really great singer and I just wanted to do everything she did, and to be honest, I was not the talent, but I was the show off,” she said, adding that she loved to be in front of people and loved singing.
And when she was just 12 or 13, she decided music was what she wanted to do, and her parents, she said, were very supportive, never discouraging her from pursuing a career in music.
“My mom really wanted me to go to college and I said okay, well then I would like to take music in college, and she was like, ‘Okay as long as you go to college, take whatever you want.’
“So that’s what I ended up enrolled in at Red Deer College.”
Flash forward to now, and Nice Horse now has their first EP under their belt, which was released in February to coincide with touring with Tom Cochrane. “It’s really exciting for us to think about where we were to where we are now,” said Marie, adding that it had only four songs on it, to introduce themselves to their audience.
The girls will be releasing their full length album this September.
“We named it A Little Unstable because we love to use horse puns,” she said with a laugh.
Besides the horse puns, Marie said the album has a theme of strong, independent women that’s shown throughout their writing and that people can really hear in the songs.
“It’s grown women singing about grown women things,” she said, adding it’s also about having a good time.
Nice Horse also just released their music video this month for their first single Pony Up, which is part of this month’s CMT Fresh Face Feature Artist.
The single will then go to radio shortly with the album coming out, and then they’ll tour around that.
“We’re also a finalist in the Project Wild, a competition in Calgary with the Wild radio station, so that’ll keep us busy as well into the fall.”
For more information on the group, visit their web site at nicehorsemusic.com.