By: Sarah Moore
Nik Freitas owes a lot of his sound to Craigslist. Setting up a studio in the backyard shed of his house, Freitas acquired his setup in a frugal manner. Sometimes he had to sell off one piece of equipment to afford another, so Freitas' sound is ever evolving, never stationary. He has the uncanny ability to create something new while reminding the listener of cherished recollected moments in music. From The Kinks to Abbey Road, Freitas' Sun Down (released May 6 on Team Love Records) spans 40 minutes of nostalgic aural pleasures and exquisite pop compositions.
Having played and engineered this entire record (as well as his previous releases) on his own, Freitas still offers a genuine range of emotions ranging from regret ("Oh My God") to disgust ("Sophie"). "Sophie" sounds like "Good Day Sunshine" with the attitude of "Sexy Sadie." The song sits at number five, closing the imaginary "Side A." A horn section cuts into pauses and punctuates the refrain with that extra grit that the buzzing guitars couldn't muster alone. Multi-part vocal harmonies bridge the sections of rockabilly guitar and horn extravaganza.
The title track begins with a building of delicately finessed instrumentation and then folds into an elegantly layered pop tune sung with Freitas' boyish charm. Military-esque drumming is light enough to feel flexible but static enough to contain the lighthearted melody. "Seems the world at any second could be a memory / Come sun down," he sings. The mood continues through the record, and the listener really gets a sense that Freitas knows about what he sings.
"Talking to an old friend I had not seen in years," begins "It Ain't Like That," a realistic nostalgia piece. "It could be something to live again," he goes on to say about his reminiscing his childhood, "but it ain't like that anymore." The song continues with exquisite segues and starry, far-out background synth, encrusting each second with little sonic gems, and the disc on the whole works in this way. An album without excesses but stuffed with heart-wrenching moments, Sun Down speaks from the moment of its first listen.
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