Wednesday, July 8, 2009

niceties that mean something

Matthew Field (photo by James William King)

Aah. What better way to end another confused, not-so-winter's day that starts wet and ends dry than with a simple tune under a milky, spilling moon? And what lies there in el inbox in the invisible post-sushi slump? (Invisible because you don’t get sleepy from sushi, but you do from sa-ke. Even if you didn’t drink any and can't spell it in the first place) Nothing but the unmastered, unadulterated preproduction recordings of this little known band's tracks, “Lost In Translation" and "Recent Developments". That's what you get for being Nice, for making friends with good people, for loving life even when it doesn't love you.

I'm possibly one of fewer than eight or ten lucky pandas to have their paws on this new material, and it’s only really because Nice is a well kept secret that... well... that I just told.

The trio has gigged here and there for a bit more than a year. Between musical studies and grabbing Berkley scholarships and giving the ivory towers the stick, its boys made ripples where it’s real (as well as in some seedy bars and so forth). Both serious about their sound and light hearted about life (on the surface) , they’re also convincingly self-deprecating(on the surface), citing the ‘pop’ genre instead of going into the sort of sordidly lengthy, lyrical explanations I am guilty of. (in sushium absentium, mostly. and it could be worse. much worse.)

What their fistful of fine fans know (along with the gloating GolumGirl aka yours truly) is that they're going into studio this Friday to record their first EP. What the world doesn't yet know is that it’s been waiting for this for a very long time.

Siriyuss, you say? Who exactly is this “Nice” again? Only a most promising new outfit that's got me excited for the mainstream, the more discerning and the musicians all at once. Nice has something that will sell well but not at the price of their souls, something that will lift spirits and eyebrows alike, with smiles to support. They’re one of the few bands to be both on time for meetings and ahead of their time with their music, a touchy blend of sunny-side-up, very soft sarcasm, incredible vulnerabilty and an honesty that never abandons itself. (there? see? lengthy, lyrical description. sigh.) To be trite, and break all my own rules of not referring to the globally revered, it’s a mouthful of BoublĂ©, a gargle of Garfunkel and a sweet spoel of Mayer. It’s also its own brand entirely, with its own sound which is entirely hard to describe when you’re tired of describing sound. Luckily, they are the brand - fresh-faced, affable, and intelligent. Their music is, too. Matthew, Ross and Robin describe themselves as "decent" (in the best sense of the word), though “dapper” (in the best sense of the word) is probably more accurate. Think collars, cufflinks and coiffures, and then add a dangerously twinkling bruisedblue eye and a wink you think you imagined but can’t quite remember. Yep; they’re frost in December, they are (34 degrees south), and you'll hear it in their compositions. They’re by no means beyond a bit of subversion, either, especially when you listen to innocent|ironic lyrics like
"I get the feeling
all the words on your lips
and all your Freudian slips are just like the bones in your hips - well designed".

No, wait, you can’t, yet. But come their Spring launch, you can. In the interim, wish them luck in the studio, and

Trivia: they're into pizza and they’re not over anything except the things they never had time for in the first place, like insincerity and idiocy. Good boys, Nice. Like something sublime waiting for you at home after a very long day. Mmm.

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