Nap Eyes – Thought Rock Fish Scale (Paradise of Bachelors)
This could be the first band I’ve ever heard from Nova Scotia and first impressions of the place are very promising.
It seems to be the kind of place where literate downbeat songs of hometowns and well observed intriguing domestic details are recorded live and loose and lovely.
Musically, Nap Eyes are drawing broadly into the same gene pool as early Go Betweens, the time when the roots and the post punk (Creedence and The Velvet Underground) were equally revered.
Singer Nigel Chapman’s dry but warm delivery has a bit of Lou Reed about it, particularly from around the time of the Velvet Underground album. Words are written first, you suspect, because they elbow their way endearingly into the line and the melody.
The sublime ‘Lion in chains’, taking its sweet time, with as many verses as it needs, chiming guitars over a gorgeous vocal burr, like a comatose ‘Sweet Jane’.
The beautiful rolling drum pattern of ‘Stargazer’ feeding a wandering guitar riff which foreshadows a wandering vocal melody before a wandering guitar riff harmony (it bears a distant relation to 80s hit ‘Japanese boy’ by Aneka which makes me love it even more).
And ‘Mixer’, a gorgeous meditational miniature of three chords, choppy guitar and existential doubt.
It’s good for the soul to find a real beauty like this early in the year.