>Having spent the last five nights ‘entertaining friends’, I’m now in the unenviable position of starting the week feeling exhausted. Beer, wine, tapas, dim sum and a surprising diversion to the middle-class realm of Pimms and lemonade are to blame for my malaise, and spending last night compering a Burlesque show just about finished me off, in a blizzard of nipple tassels and discarded stockings. I suppose if you’re going to have a blow-out, you may as well do it properly.
Having slowly come to the realisation that I’m getting on a bit now and can’t party quite as wholeheartedly as I could when I was 18, I’m feeling pathetically sorry for myself. Feeling fragile, I turned to music for some sort of comfort, or at least empathy. What I got was Today’s New Band, Nicholas Stevenson, who seems to be as fragile as I am.
Perhaps fragile is the wrong word. His songs would fall to bits, just for the hell of it, if they wanted to. They’re sweetly crazed and unusual, sometimes chilling, and sometimes plain odd. Either way, they seem to be formed out of something that might crack apart at any moment.
Anything You Like has as catchy a hook as you’re likely to hear, and an acoustic guitar that is, for want of a better description, crunchy. Ponies is as tender and cosy as a nursery rhyme, albeit one that ends in death and horror. Never in New York‘s yummy, carefree melody is the platform for Nicholas’ fabulously inventive lyrics to skip around.
Nicholas Stevenson‘s songs could have been written to lull children to sleep, but I wouldn’t recommend pushing much babysitting work his way unless you want your child to wake up confused or clammy or screaming. The upside to his aborted childminding career is that us grown-ups can feel our skin creep listening to them.
Even at his most sugary – and his songs do sound delightful – there’s the feeling that the musical sweets he’s offering you are laced with poison. And while that feeling remains, he’s a true (slightly worrying) treat. Listen here!
P.S. – Has the credit crunch left you looking for cheapo Christmas gifts? Give the gift of a printed out PDF of the ANBAD eBook! It’s free AND colourful!