Nick Craft is supporting Paul Dempsey for a 5 day run of sold out shows at the Gasometer Hotel in Melbourne.
Perhaps best known as songwriter, musician and front man for the psychedelic rock band Sidewinder, Nick recorded ‘Minerva’ with his brother and former band mate, Martin. The brothers formed Sidewinder as teenagers in the 90s, before releasing several acclaimed albums, and constantly touring the Hume Highway live circuit and as a fixture on festival line-ups including The Big Day Out and Homebake.
This record marks the first time they have worked together since Sidewinder, this time in very different capacities. Martin took on the roles of producer and arranger, taking Nick’s lyrically-driven songs performed on an estate sale nylon strong guitar into a new realm with his understated and sophisticated string arrangements. These arrangements were recorded with a crack squad of musicians in Los Angeles, using players who are more used to working on film soundtracks or with high profile artists such as Father John Misty, Quincy Jones or Brian Wilson.
The first single from the release is ‘No Silver Lining’, which Nick suggests is: ‘a song that does its best to argue that we should maintain our optimism, even in the face of a world that suggests optimism never pays off. It’s somewhere between a love song from an optimist to a pessimist, and a work of self-help, depending on what time of day I listen to it…’
For this song and the remainder of the album Nick has drawn on a diverse and disparate array of influences. Of his musical influences, he says: ‘While I don’t think I’ve been a slave to any one example, I’ve certainly drawn on the canonic examples of Leonard Cohen or Nick Drake, trying to drive a deep and reflective channel with my lyrics, and move them as close to poetry as I’m able to do… which is perhaps odd, given that I started off in music wanting to work in the My Bloody Valentine tradition of wanting to obliterate the lyric…’
‘I’ve also been inspired by the quiet examples of singers who’ve laboured in obscurity and quiet domesticity–like Sibylle Baier singing into a tape recorder after work just for herself, or Anne Briggs who chose to live a life away from the microphone…’
Tracks from ‘Minerva’ will be accompanied by videos edited from old films that have lapsed out of copyright: ‘In the case of No Silver Lining, it’s shows a woman waking up, removing a skull from a cupboard and throwing it out of the window, only to find it’s returned to the same place. Which is pretty much a good analogy of the circuit this song is trying to break…’
‘Minerva’, the 9-track debut album from Nick Craft is available from Bandcamp and online retailers.