Stream: Nicholas Nicholas – “Cave”

Today we’ve got here a mellow, shoegazey two parter from Nicholas Nicholas’ upcoming sophomore album, “Wrong,” which is set for an August 19th release.

At the very opening of the track we hear a bellowing low note from which the music will soon blossom. We’re given all the instruments at once after only about a second, but the way that they grow out of that initial low note is so organic that it feels more like a warmth washing over you than it does anything drastic or jarring. A guitar enters, its echoes bouncing off every available surface and ringing across the the track. Backed by a wash of synth patches that leave trails in the distance and a steady drumbeat, the song isn’t treading on unknown territory. “Cave” traces a path through shoe gaze and chillwave, something that makes complete sense, but I don’t think has been much explored before. It’s as if the wall of sound was stripped away from a My Bloody Valentine song, leaving only the vocal technique and the idea of creating a sound that encourages some sort of contemplation.

The vocals are maybe the most interesting element of the song. Drawled out from a register well below any of the other instruments it sounds to be slowed down significantly, in essence really drawing out that effect of stretching time and laying so far back in the beat that the rest of the track seems almost resistant to the pulse. The music seems to pull the voice through the track, despite its desire to stay behind.

The piece more or less does away with a traditional verse/chorus/verse structure, instead choosing to sidestep via an extended coda. In some ways it sounds as though we have two different songs going on back to back here, the way the first dies out completely before the coda comes in. There is just enough contrast between the first and last half of the track to consider them as contrasts, but not so much contrast that they don’t go together.

“Wrong” is available as a cassette for pre-order right now through the Miscreant Records bandcamp for $5.

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