Central Saloon, Seattle, WA
A major player in Everett’s nod-worthy music scene, Simon Nicol is taking another turn at his solo project, Leava, with the release of two new tracks. The new work, released as The Lovely Grind, is a slight reinvention for Nicol since 2016’s EP Brunt, while still sounding like it comes from the same inquisitive mind.
On The Lovely Grind‘s first track, “Caffeine & Fashion,” Nicol takes his atmospheric depths and guitar-washed shoegaze to new levels of layered distortion. The track spins out, from fuzzy, lyrically-incomprehensible moments to disquieting, exclamatory remarks. Perhaps most clearly a way of calling out cultural awareness, second single, “Impressive Waste,” drips with even more cynicism. Repeated refrains condemn vapid societal obsessions, and the production feels like a time warp.
This is all in a good way, mind you, and shows off Nicol’s talents as both a solo artist and producer. He’s been working with other local acts, behind the boards, and the layers of experience and influence show. Bring your friends to help celebrate the release with Leava live, Saturday, March 18, with Boots to The Moon, Verlaine, and Campion at Central Saloon. And check out a live video of the single, “Caffeine & Fashion,” below.
Review by Stephanie Dore