I have been getting quotes on a new furnace and air conditioner. What a headache and confusing process. Thankfully, both are working (knock on wood) and this is more me trying to be proactive but still, what a nightmare. I need something to calm me down. Will it be ‘The Way It Didn’t Happen’ from Nick and the Old Sport? Let’s take a listen and find out!
“Go Get Born” kicks off this six-song EP in an intriguing way. the song starts with just an echoed guitar part before turning into a fuzz-induced pattern. This guitar work, although fairly simple sounding, really drew me in and I loved how you could literally hear and feel this opening track take shape. I’ll be the first to admit that I lose interest when there’s a long intro to a song but I didn’t mind this one and fell head over heels in love with Nick and the Old sport as the song really hit its stride. The band’s sound is most easily classified as rock n’ roll but it’s oh so much more than that. A horn, extraterrestrial sounding guitar patterns, driving drums– this opening track has a little bit of everything in it and truly transported me into the world that is Nick and the Old Sport perfectly.
There’s such a sense of soul in “Burning Cigarettes”. It honestly caught me a bit off guard but in a perfect way. Every single word seems to come with emotion attached to it while the instrumentation keeps this track from feeling too heavy. This was an instant favorite of mine due to the way the weighted words should not go with such dancy instrumentation yet this band pulls it off effortlessly. I wish I could say more about this amazing track but I found myself busy bopping around my dining room as this one played and, before I knew it, “What Kinda Man” had started playing.
Although still a dancy track, the tempo slows just a little bit from “Burning Cigarettes” to “What Kinda Man” making it feel like a stark contrast in vibe. Although the vibe is clearly different, there’s no question of whose song this is. Nick and the Old Sport has such a fresh and interesting sound that there is really no band to compare them directly to. I could spout out a million different influences that I hear but it would make me sound like a crazy person because they range from everything from Bruno Mars to John Mayer with a little Roots thrown in there. This track, like the previous songs, is just good ol’ fashioned feel-good rock n’ roll and I think I’ll just leave it at that as far as trying the classify this band.
“Ain’t So Crazy After All” brings a super comforting feeling to the table. At face value, this sense of comfort comes from the optimistic and supportive words being sung but, I feel like the positivity and comfort comes from something much deeper than just the words. It’s the way the song is composed. There are dreamy parts that make you feel like you’re floating while a horn keeps you grounded all the while the lyrics keep your head in the clouds. I usually try to limit my “favorite tracks” to just one per album but I just can’t hold back. This was another instant favorite of mine.
“Lightning Strikes My Spine” really showcases the vocals. Although they shine throughout this album, I feel like they shine extra bright in this one. You get a sense of grit and angst while getting that sense of comfort felt in “Ain’t So Crazy After All”. Although I would still call this track a rock n’ roll track, there’s something almost a little hippie about it that I love. Not quite jam band and not quite reggae but there’s just a sense of that style felt throughout this track. I found myself constantly captivated by the vocals in this track. You’ll need to listen to find this but there’s a part that sent shivers up my spine almost as if lightning had strikes my spine (see what I did there?). Listen and you’ll hear it instantly. I promise.
This release ends with “Hide Me Somewhere in Your Heart”. I’ll be honest, I was really digging the distinct vibe of “Lightning Strikes My Spine” so when things slowed down for this final track, I was a bit disappointed but it didn’t take long for me to find myself completely captivated by the beauty in this track. Although slower and softer, there’s still an energy in this track that can only be done by Nick and the Old Sports. It’s just such a distinct twist on everything they do, every note they play, every word that is sung. I don’t know what it is but Nick and the Old Sports has it and I was eating up every second of this album and begging for more as this final track faded out and left me in silence.
My Favorite Track(s): “Burning Cigarettes”; “Ain’t So Crazy After All”
For Fans Of: Fun; Genre- Blending Creativity; Soul
Daydream-ability: 7 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Autumn drank some water in the loudest manner ever; Artie pouted because I wasn’t giving him any pizza
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 9 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 9.6 out of 10
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