ARTIST: Nik Freitas
TITLE: Sun Down
LABEL: Team Love
BITRATE: 181kbps avg
PLAYTIME: 0h 40m total
RELEASE DATE: 2008-05-06
RIP DATE: 2008-04-20
1. Sun Down 4:24
2. Oh My God 3:10
3. All the Way Down 3:49
4. What You Become 4:27
5. Sophie 2:52
6. Love Around 5:00
7. It Aint Like That 2:51
8. See Me There 4:26
9. Comes To Me 4:03
10. Shhhh 5:42
Nik Freitas' Team Love debut Sun Down -- equal parts wry, warm and sonorous --
is the end product of several years of ups and downs. Freitas writes, plays,
engineers and produces every note on his records. Not that he's got a lot of
expensive gear. A visit to his Poppy Peak studio/shed reveals that Nik is
working low-budget minor miracles, The kind of miracles one receives via
hundreds of hours on Craigslist. One listen to Sun Down and you know you're
hearing a certain hard-won grace.
It all began several years ago for Freitas, when a co-worker sold him an antique
piano that was "used by a street musician before the dawn of the Casio." Nik
taught himself how to play the thing, and it became the cornerstone of his three
earlier records, Here's Laughing at You, Heavy Mellow and Voicing the Hammers.
Other people began to take notice. He's opened for Jason Lytle (of Granddaddy),
played guitar for Jim Fairchild (of All Smiles), and recorded with Miles Kurosky
(of Beulah). Lately, he's been opening shows for Bright Eyes?hich led him to
his current resting place at Team Love.
Sun Down is a succinct, concentrated record that will take the listener from
Paul Simon's Graceland to David Bowie's Hunky Dory. Each song -- each moment --
is endowed with a striking mix of self-possession and gravity. There is no
reaching, no going for the gold, just ten lovely four minute thesis statements.
"All the Way Down" is Nik's version of a protest song, one that could have
easily sprung from the pen of Raymond Douglas Davies. It stops and starts in
fits of piano-driven whimsy that makes its point without the use of blunt force.
The end of the imaginary side one features "Sophie". Live horns punctuate the
tale of a girl who seems to have made some rather unfortunate choices. It's a
perfect signpost of a song, and clears the decks for what's to come in the
second half, where Nik's orchestra of one builds the final five songs into an
Abbey Road type sweep that fans of Jon Brion will hearken to. Sun Down is imbued
with a sort of indie grandeur that is both unexpected and totally natural.
"...easily likable, thoughtfully crafted disc of late-era Beatles inspired
pop....." - ROLLING STONE
"A brilliant pop tunesmith" - ALL MUSIC GUIDE
"Jangle pop that will leave listeners giddy with pleasure" - CMJ