Nicole Serrano released “Hello to Daylight” in 2012 as her most recent studio recorded album.
Serrano’s music style includes different influences giving this album an indie rock, folk vibe while still being in the soft singer and songwriter genre.
“Hello to Daylight” came out in the same year as Serrano’s debut on The Voice on NBC. Talent scouts recruited Serrano to audition though she didn’t end up going very far on the show.
Since this album came out before her audition, it proved that she was starting a successful career whether she would be publicized on national television or not.
Shortly after the album release, Nicole moved to Nashville to continue her music career there.
“Hello to Daylight” begins with a soft piano open on “Not Letting Go.” By the chorus, Serrano has incorporated electric instruments and given the track an indie rock feel.
“Not Letting Go” opens strongly for the album. This song also has a great texture to it, with various levels of vocal lines, lyrics and harmonies mixed together. A notable moment on this track is the higher melody in the chorus sings the title words, “not letting go” over the top of the mixture.
Track two, titled “Just You and Me,” also starts out simplistically.
A very quiet instrumentation of the soft plucking on an electric guitar guides listeners until Serrano’s voice comes in for the first verse. Soft vocals build into the second verse until the chorus belts through the bridge, showing her full vocal power.
“Unmistakable” comes next with a total rock feel. Serrano’s lyrics backdrop a story of being lost and making mistakes while detailing redemption from love and forgiveness. At the end of the bridge, Nicole hits a high note riff in a quiet moment that gives me chills.
Moving on to “Worth Living For,” Serrano returns to her soft, bubbly style to tell a story about a love “worth living for.”
Serrano has been a worship music singer and leader for a large part of her life. A lot of her music, while powerful, also has a lot of inspiring and uplifting lyrics. She refers to her faith in many songs.
In “Worth Living For” and “Kings & Queens,” a song featured later on the album, Serrano eludes to a higher power, God, who loves people unconditionally.
The feature of the album is the middle track, “What I Really Wanna Say.”
This song is a soft love ballad with calming vocals and lush harmonies. Once again, Serrano highlights her strong and dynamic vocal range with a sultry alto rasp, full voice mezzo belting and then an even higher falsetto range.
Following that, “Don’t Let It Die” comes back with her indie folk rock infusion from earlier in the album. The high energy that this song has builds in the verses while breaking down at the bridge, culminating to powerful vocal riffs at the end.
The next song slows down quite a bit. “Kings & Queens” is a poignant commentary on the superficiality and materialism of pop culture in society. This song has a spiritual element to it as well.
Trailing at the end, the album title track, “Hello to Daylight,” metaphorically describes a narrative about love and change, relating it to the transition from night to day.
Serrano compares a specific time or event in her life where she couldn’t go back because time keeps moving forward, much like how the night sky transitions to sunrise. “In the end, we had to say goodnight and hello to daylight.”
Wrapping up the album, “The Runaway” finishes off with an acoustic sound. A piano and two cellos play the instrumental melody while Serrano strongly sings over the top.
Overall, Serrano’s vocal rasp is calming and draws people in. Her lyrics thoughtfully tell a story that makes her music both realistic and deeply meaningful for listeners.
“Hello to Daylight” is a beautiful tapestry of art.
Unfortunately, Serrano has not released more music since “Hello to Daylight” but hopefully we’ll hear more from her in the future. Until then, “keep the dream alive and don’t let it die.”