On Nice, Speculator's Nick Ray expounds on his Lifestyle repertoire to craft a perfect blend of '80s memories and low fidelity slacker pop. The slurring vocals and reverb-laden, grandiose atmospherics of the twelve track LP is evocative of VHS tapes, particularly those centering on coming-of-age storylines set in a time where babes wore shoulder pads and acid jeans were all the rage. It doesn't matter that not even one lyric of Ray's distorted wailing is discernable, because the sentiment is obvious. Wistful, backward-looking, and youthfully irreverent, Nice is the sonic counterpart of the Brat Pack.
Says Nick Ray:
"My last release, Lifestyle, was conceived and produced as a cassette LP. I tried to create and include as many analog recording artifacts as possible, in addition to samples of other artists' work recorded using a variety of methods. The title, "Lifestyle," was meant to speak to that type of music consumption: mixes made by friends or strangers, blank tapes purchased from dollar bins, recording over any type II cassette you can get your hands on. Nice was recorded using exactly the same equipment with a much different intent. Only two songs on this record use samples. With two exceptions, songs begin and end without editing. This is my first vinyl LP-- with the exception of a 7" b-side remix of Weekend's "Coma Summer," this is the first time my music has been pressed to vinyl. This has been a dream of mine since I was a little brat listening to punk records and combing the bins at Exile on Main St. in Mt. Kisco, NY. The record is called "Nice" because I tried to make it a more concise articulation of the kinds of songs that I am interested in writing. Still though, it is not an entirely "easy" record. There are pop songs as well as more abstract moments. Lifestyle required a certain degree of "active listening," which I believe is also present on Nice. I am very proud of this record, and hope you enjoy it." --Jasmine Zhu, Altered Zones
Scoop the Nice LP on vinyl on August 30th via Underwater Peoples