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Never TwiceBrisk, self-contained, a little mysterious, and catchy enough to revisit again and again
His style is all his own
The second coming of soul, infusing a distinctly California surf-rock spin to the genre
Many moons ago Primo Pitino, the DJ of San Francisco's legendary Oldies Night, passed me a copy of his friend Nick Waterhouse's "Some Place." Nick was a local vinyl DJ and the kid working at our Shangri-la, Rooky Ricardo's Records. Though he didn't have a band at the time, Waterhouse assembled some local musicians to cut a one-off 45 in the vein of the electrifying mid-century modern rhythm and blues he loved. I threw "Some Place" on the Technics during sound check a few cities down the line and was blown away from the howling falsetto all the way to the end! I gave it a whirl every night from Texas to Tennessee and all the way back home to New York. Not only were the dancers' feet responding, but they were also asking about the track on a nightly basis. The Nashville Scene was so blown away that they printed a piece on Nick after a single listen. DJs and collectors everywhere wanted it so bad that the little record with the big sound started fetching upwards of $300 on Ebay.
The immediate and unprecedented underground dance party success of Nick's DIY record resulted in a full band, gigs, and, after a number of obstacles, the widely acclaimed 2012 LP Time's All Gone. Nick's music, vision, and fully formed aesthetic caught on globally and he was instantly a fixture at nearly every major nightclub and festival on both sides of the Atlantic, Australia, Japan, and Russia - hitting stages everywhere from Primavera to Montreux Jazz Festival and charting on college, public, and commercial radio.
Only a year after self-releasing his first single, Nick Waterhouse was thrust into the chaos of leading a band, touring, and recording in the big leagues! Pummeling high speed down a bumpy hill of lineup changes, economic problems, and general chaos without any breaks, Nick made it through and the challenges made him more focused. 2014's Holly captured a more experienced artist upping the ante in writing, performance, recording, and production, inspiring a new level of critical and commercial success.
In addition to a jam-packed five years on the road, in the studio, and in the practice space, Waterhouse also produced septuagenarian soul legend Ural Thomas, Los Angeles Latin stars the Boogaloo Assassins, and garage rockers the Allah-las. He's currently collaborating with the likes of young Grammy-nominee Leon Bridges and Steven Colbert bandleader Jon Batiste. The Rolling Stones blast Nick's version of "I Can Only Give You Everything" at stadiums before they go onstage. Vogue hired him to pose with Kendall Jenner. He hipped her to Little Willie John while Anna Wintour complimented his shoes. While a lesser artist would get lost in these distractions, Nick Waterhouse's acclaim only seems to energize him and make him work harder and push his music to the next level.
Nick's latest Never Twice is a culmination, intensification, and realization of everything he's been developing throughout this prolific frenzy. Catchier and loaded with more hits than its predecessors, Nick's new LP is at the same time harder hitting, more rhythmic, more harmonic, more diverse, and more adventurous than any of the excellent work that already separated him from the pack. A cool and elegant post-post-modern cocktail of 1950s r&b and club jazz, mixed with 1960s soul and boogaloo, and shaken with a minimal contemporary sensibility, Never Twice finds the artist taking his time, refining his vision, and speaking with new authority. In five short years Nick Waterhouse has come a long way and it looks like he may have just painted his masterpiece.
- Jonathan Toubin1. It's Time
2. I Had Some Money (But I Spent It)
3. Straight Love Affair
4. Stanyan Street
5. The Old Place
6. Katchi (feat. Leon Bridges)
7. Baby, I'm In The Mood For You
9. Lucky Once
10. LA Turnaround$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
HollyThink music ain't what it used to be? Then you haven't heard Nick Waterhouse. His jumped-up take on 1950's rhythm 'n' blues is the real deal."
A timeless talent for spirited rock and rhythms that anyone can appreciate.
He draws from the classic sound of '50's American pop with a distinctive
voice of his own, shouting and growling with infectious vigor."
Waterhouse is definitely a star."
- LA TIMES
The music sounds like a party in full swing, each instrument playing exactly what is needed."
- CHICAGO TRIBUNE
Between the chattering keys, bomping saxes, gorgeous guitar tones and
the bandleader's voice-which slides effortlessly from cool quaver to feral
howl - the end result is undeniable."
Nick Waterhouse's art springs from a simple idea: everybody wants to be sombody else. One of his heroes, Van Morrison, got his start covering Bobby
Bland, whose own musical idol was Nat "King" Cole. In Waterhouse's view,
emulation is a journey; you never truly succeed, but as the singer, guitarist and songwriter puts it, "You become something on the way there."
Nick was born in 1986 and grew up in Huntington Beach, known predominantly for
UFC, commercial surf culture, and tanning salons. He established his musical sensibilities in the middle of the burgeoning southern California Psych-Garage scene (Burger
records, Ty Segall, McHugh's Distillery studio) while retaining his unique perspective
on the spirit of American Rhythm & Blues and Rock & Roll.
Waterhouse started performing as a teenager. "It was really motivated by fear," he
recalls. "I'm kind of an introvert, so it was an uncomfortable situation. It was a way
to force a crisis." The young artist experienced an exhilaration he'd never felt before,
and hasn't found anywhere else since. "It's a feeling of heightened awareness that goes
beyond pleasure," Waterhouse explains. "It has something to do with seeing ahead in
time and behind in time all at once. You don't just get the immediate reward; you get
the potential that rewards you the same way."
Waterhouse explored the idea of potential on his breakthrough single, "Some Place," a
beautifully lean, propulsive track recorded at all-analog studio the Distillery and self
released in 2010 on his own Pres label. "Well, there's someplace that I'd rather be,"
Waterhouse sang in a fierce yet plaintive register. "And it's something that's been on my
mind almost constantly."
These days, Waterhouse is a successful recording artist, with one well-received LP and
and several high-profile tours and collaborations to his name. But his latest work still
embodies the struggle of his early forays. During "This Is a Game," Waterhouse sets up
a snarly, post-surf guitar solo with a succinct statement of a cynical outlook: "This is a
game / Please remember my words / And don't get upset when you don't get what you
think you deserve." And on the gothic-soul strut "Let It Come Down," he meditates on
the inevitability of pain. "If there's gonna be rain tonight," he sings in a stoic croon.
"Let it come down."
It's clear from this material that Waterhouse is in the midst of his own becoming. He
isn't the type to let ecstasy take over, like Van Morrison, or to drawl away in a consummately laid-back register, like Mose Allison. In the tension between his wry lyrics and
crisp arrangements, you hear the expression of a worldly skeptic who's also-when it
comes to his art-a sanctified believer. Whoever it was that Nick Waterhouse wanted to
be matters less now; these days, he just sounds like himself.1. High Tiding
2. This Is A Game
3. It no. 3
4. Let It Come Down
5. Sleepin' Pills
7. Dead Room
8. Well It's Fine
9. Ain't There Something Money Can't Buy
10. Hands On The Clock$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Time's All GoneNick Waterhouse is the New Breed - An R&B fanatic who combines an uncanny old-school sensibility and with a charged, contemporary style. Having just turned 25, he joins the ranks of similar acts and producers of recent times - Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse, Sharon Jones, Mayer Hawthorne, Aloe Blacc et al -- that are all moving forward into the past, yet all quite different. For Waterhouse, his muse is the over-modulated sound of vintage '50s R&B and Rebel Rock n' Roll. His take on such a time-honored tradition evokes the back-alley thrill of New Orleans, Detroit and Memphis in their heyday. He combines an astute attention to detail recording on all vintage equipment with an honest desire to match the emotional impact of the music that inspires him.1. Say I Wanna Know
2. Some Place
3. Don't You Forget It
4. I Can Only Give You Everything
6. (If) You Want Trouble
7. Indian Love Call
8. Is That Clear
9. Teardrop Will Follow You
10. Time's All Gone, Pt. 1
11. Time's All Gone, Pt. 2$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now