Wednesday, 19 February 2014

NIX NOUGHT NOTHING - ALBUM REVIEW

Nix Nought Nothing - The Storm 
Nix Nought Nothing - The Storm

Release Date: 28th February 2014

Nix Nought Nothing (or NNN as I shall call him from now on) is a native Londoner holed up in Brooklyn creating complex, layered and lush musical stories interwoven with beautiful melodies and an attention to detail that is so rare these days. The nu-folk lilt of 'Return From The Storm' opens the album and rattles along like a pony and trap on cobbles - not very London or Brooklyn. 'I'm In Trouble' is a piano lead show tune that Aloe Blacc would have been happy to sing while 'In The Winter' has a more delicate feel to it, building to a Mumford-esque conclusion as NNN sings of nautical themes atop a dancing piano melody and burgeoning percussion. The first single from this debut album is 'Sticks & Stones' which is striking in its original arrangement which is almost Brother & Bones-esque but you can feel the single-mindedness of a solo artist bleeding out of the music. Interestingly, 'The Boy' has some beautifully subtle guitar work that Brother & Bones what be proud of as well but a much lighter feel that is almost child-like in its approach to melodic structures.

There is a delightful feeling of Spring lightness to 'Symphomatic' with Jake Morley-esque guitars and a real sense that the sun has just risen on a frosty morning somewhere near the coast. 'But Bring Me Love' is a swooning, crooning song that would be perfect for a candle lit evening with your new beau but 'Icarus' starts off like some incidental music from Titanic before becoming a sea shanty style ballad warning the winged-one not to soar too high. This is music that I could see going down extremely well in my adopted home of Cornwall, such is the elemental and aquatic tone to many of the songs. Nevertheless, there are songs that fly in the face of this overall feel such as 'When I'm Alive' which is an almost jazz influenced, off-kilter piece of piano lead music that is more intriguing than it is instantly gratifying.

NNN returns to that child-like melodic pattern on 'We Need To Know' which could easily be a Broadway musical song with its big horn section and "la-la-la" sing along chorus. Ironically, 'I Could've Been Anything' has a title that suggests it has come from a musical (Bugsy Malone for the uninitiated amongst you) but is actually more of a lament for opportunities missed and chances passed. The final track on this debut is the chest beating bravado of 'All I Have' which returns to the sea faring themes and employs the sea shanty style all male backing vocals to great effect. Nix Nought Nothing has genuinely stumped me on this one as I would see him fitting in more with the likes of Seth Lakemen than the uber-cool types you expect to find in Brooklyn. Genuinely stumped is a good thing though, I want to know and hear more...


More information: www.nixnoughtnothing.com 

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