((Nicholas Nicholas)) Band Profile and Upcoming New York City Concerts - Oh My Rockness


Written by Patrick McNamara

"I have no idea what’s going on."

The above was my first thought when I listened to Brooklyn’s Nicholas Nicholas - of whom I knew next to nothing about. And I still don’t really. I know it’s just one guy. I know he plays in Heavenly Beat's live band. But I don’t even know his name. I would bet his first name is Nicholas and his last name was not. But I wouldn’t bet with real money. Because who even knows what to think anymore. I don’t even know if Nicholas Nicholas makes me feel happy or sad. Maybe emotion is more nuanced than just those two choices. Yes. This is probably so.

Nicholas Nicholas makes lo-fi homemade songs (I would imagine - maybe he makes them in a cave or on a bus - I don’t know) that are completely haunting and fascinating and, well, they’re just plain strange, man. This is solid singer/songwriter stuff (I hear those piano skills and delicate vocals you’re trying to hide, NN - I hear them) buried under all these crazy, claustrophobic effects that slowly curl to cloud everything over and turn what could be straight dream-pop into something more sorrowful and evocative and, well, just plain touching, man.

There is no apt comparison for Nicholas Nicholas. That being said, let’s make a comparison. Imagine Ariel Pink meets another one of my up-and-coming favorites, Sean Nicholas Savage (I’m not just saying that because the Nicholas tie-in is cute, I swear - it’s the vocals), meets confusion and delight at hearing something that actually sounds new. And that's not always a comfortable feeling.

You can stream Nicholas Nicholas’ album below. And then make your own call on this. The early bounce rate on this guy is probably going to be pretty high. You’re either going to be cautiously into it and keep listening, though you’re not sure you totally want to, until you finally do (want to, that is). Or, you’re gonna hightail it out of this unfamiliar world seconds into that first song and run back to your power chords and handclaps and quiet verses and loud choruses and all the things that are known and expected.

And that’s fine. It’s just music. Nothing is wrong. Everything is right. I’m chill. You’re chill. Together we ride the great divide. Always. Forever. Amen.

Published September 17, 2013
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