Hailing from Halifax, Nap Eyes recorded their debut full-length album Whine Of The Mystic (2014) straight to tape in live takes and no overdubs. Even within the different layers beneath the canopy of alt-rock, the band sets itself apart from the overly polished and produced tracks of late. Their surprisingly delicate sound—poetic and undressed—captures natural spontaneity without a hint of sloppiness. The eight songs on their new album Thought Rock Fish Scale were recorded in the same way (on a “temperamental old TEAC four-track ¼” tape recorder”) and CH premieres a live take of our favorite track off the album, “Stargazer.”
“Stargazer is about trying to live in a good way, so that you can be unselfishly contributing to society, but somehow not sacrificing your own individuality or values you identify with (which are never all shared by the society at large),” vocalist, songwriter, rhythm guitarist Nigel Chapman tells CH. (He’s also a biochemist by day, working in a research lab that studies mutations of the apelin receptor). “Of course this is a fine balance, so that everyone makes mistakes every day. In this sense, the song could (ideally) help the individual come to terms with failure, while at the same time urging them to recognize their own self-worth.” The simple, repetitive groove reminds us of Native American music, like Lloyd Cheechoo’s “James Bay” (off of the amazing compilation and must-listen Native North America, Volume 1: Aboriginal Folk Rock & Country 1966-1985), and the space between the words allows the mind to wade through Chapman’s meditations.
Thought Rock Fish Scale is out now via NC-based Paradise of Bachelors and Canada’s You’ve Changed Records. Nap Eyes kicks off a monthlong North American headline tour 7 March 2016 in Allston, MA and will be making their way to Montreal—including three performances at SXSW in Austin.
Image courtesy of Steve Louie