Photo by Steve Louie
Lou Reed has long been an influence for the darker, messier side of garage rock, but a lot of bands forget that he didn’t deal exclusively in feedback and sordid tales. Some of Reed’s (and the Velvet Underground’s) best moments came with the volume turned way down, and that’s precisely where Nap Eyes picks up the story. The band’s songs are all recorded live with no overdubs, slowly unfurling around Nigel Chapman’s low-key voice and his intricate tales.
Nap Eyes hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and it’s easy to hear that rainy chill in its music. “Mixer”–from Thought Rock Fish Scale, out February 5 via Paradise of Bachelors–is all atmosphere. Raindrop-like percussion sets the scene before Chapman fills in the details: “Mixer on a Friday night / Some pretty girls and guys are here / But when I look at myself on my right / I’m wondering if I’m really here.” For four-and-a-half minutes, you’re more than just passively listening. You’re looking over Chapman’s shoulder as the room comes into view. Download the song below.