Premiere: Brisbane’s Nicole McKinney Rises with Raw Indie Anthem “Stay” Off Debut EP ‘The Process’

Nicole McKinney © Julian Darcy
Nicole McKinney © Julian Darcy
Brisbane singer/songwriter Nicole McKinney rises full of passion and fury in “Stay,” a turbulent indie rock outpouring capturing the emotional intensity and volatility of a relationship on the edge.
for fans of Angie McMahon, Leah Capelle, Julien Baker
Stream: “Nicole McKinney” – Stay




A stunningly raw depiction of intimate upheaval, Nicole McKinney’s fifth single is a feverish outpouring of love and longing, anger and anguish. The Australian singer/songwriter rises full of passion and fury in “Stay,” a turbulent indie rock outpouring capturing the emotional intensity and volatility of a relationship on the edge.

Stay - Nicole McKinney
Stay – Nicole McKinney
Wish I could save you from your self
Not me and damn nobody else
In the cold dark place where there is no space
to breathe, I lost my mind
In the cold dark place where there is no space
to breathe, I lost my time
But won’t you stay oh
Stay oh

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Stay,” the latest single off Nicole McKinney’s forthcoming debut EP The Process (independently out June 11, 2021). A poetic, evocative, and fast-growing presence out of Queensland’s capital, McKinney debuted just two years ago with the haunting indie folk singles “Honey Be Good” and “Palestine,” followed in 2020 by the aching “Hollywood Girls” and most recently, this past February’s stirring “Another Day.”

An uncompromisingly expressive singer/songwriter with an unapologetic edge, Nicole McKinney is a force to be reckoned with – and if she hadn’t yet cemented her status as an up-and-coming indie rock artisan, then “Stay” surely makes her status clear. Empowered and visceral, McKinney’s late song rockets up from raw depths to engulf the senses in turmoil and fervent energy. Her lyrics explore betrayal, heartbreak, and loss as she reckons in her own with-or-without-you love knot; do you leave the one you’re with because you can’t live with them, or do you stay together because you can’t live without them?

Nicole McKinney © 2021
Nicole McKinney © 2021

We hesitate to label “Stay” a breakup song on principal, but it’s the urgent, emotional push-and-pull of romantic rupture that gives “Stay” its inspiration, as well as its magic spark.

McKinney’s vivid imagery and vulnerable lyricism add weight to an already compelling soundtrack; she spills her soul as she puts her heart on the line, singing all those words we all too often save for our diaries, never to be uttered out loud.

Wish I could be a little help
I’m sitting alone again
And I could tell you never felt
That baby this is not right
Dark place where there is no space
to breathe,
I lost my mind

In the cold dark place where there is no space
to breathe, I lost my time
But won’t you stay oh
Stay oh

“I feel like no one talks about the cycle of hate and love when trying to end a toxic relationship,” McKinney tells Atwood Magazine. “I want people to know that it’s okay to feel conflicting emotions and that it’s not always black and white. This song really helped me make sense of my emotions and feelings after ending my last relationship.”

‘Stay’ is about hating the person who hurt me but feeling like I couldn’t live without them. It’s a really personal song about my struggle to end a relationship.

McKinney’s explanation adds refreshing perspective to her performance, which ebbs and flows as her feelings come to a fever pitch. Gut-wrenchingly personal and dynamic, “Stay” hits hard and leaves an instant mark. Stream Nicole McKinney’s new single exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and be sure to hear her full debut EP The Process upon its release this June!

I hate your face, I hate your face
Please stay, please stay
I hate your grace I hate your grace
Please stay, please stay
I hate your grace and I hate your face and I hate you
but please stay

I hate your grace I hate you,
stay stay stay

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Stream: “Nicole McKinney” – Stay



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Stay - Nicole McKinney

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📸 © Julian Darcy

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