Jackie Hayden’s First Cuts Pick of the Fortnight (3/5/2012) – Nick Day

Nick Day

Hmm. Not so sure about this one. The guitar playing is undoubtedly superb, the production is top-notch and lyrically it’s pretty interesting. In parts this is really beautiful but the problem is the voice. When you hear the voice you’ll say: “What the f*** is wrong with you? It’s fantastic.” And I agree, it is fantastic, but it sounds too like it’s from a musical. Every line seems to hang there asking “Did you hear me?” “Did you hear that part of the story?” A song like Hearts doesn’t need to be so dramatic. The lyrics create an image of gentleness both in a city and the countryside, so why not keep it gentle? There is needless drama in the voice and it kills the song. It feels a little like a school teacher singing a song about a little mousey escaping from a cat for his class of senior infants. I imagine that Nick has been trained both vocally and in guitar; technically this is great stuff. However, for me it lacks warmth and fluidity but then again I think Beck’s One Foot in the Grave is a masterpiece so what do I know.

I’ll be playing Hearts later today. Here’s what Jackie had to say…

Nick Day’s ‘Halls Of Gold’ drew an intense rendition from him, his adventurous guitar –playing avoided the over-worn three-chord trickery and thankfully pushed the limits way beyond the bounds of easy listening.  He also records superbly well. On his CD Day’s song ‘Hearts’ carries his weighty voice with ease. With that rich golden tone, allied to some tasty guitar figures, he portrays a sombre mood on a song that rewards the use of one’s repeat button. Its poetic lyrics take on a pastoral feel that encourages engagement with the outdoors. The instrumental ‘From Morning ‘Til Night’ allows for more space for Day to elaborate his deft touches on guitar, painting attractive aural landscapes aided by the clarity of Pat Jackman’s capable production. Day offers a welcome sideways twist to the singer-songwriter genre.

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