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Westcoast Feeling- Samuel Nicholson | Review

The vocals at the beginning of Samuel Nicholson’s song “Westcoast Feeling” from his new project, Birthday Suit, feel like the gentle waves on the beach at low tide brushing your feet. With the same falsetto and vulnerability of Bon Iver in For Emma, Forever ago, Nicholson brings us on a similar journey.

Though the song begins in a gentle, introductory falsetto, Nicholson gradually ramps up in vocal tone and vulnerability. At the song's peak, about halfway in, the vocals are raw, as Nicholson practically screams at the listener. The acoustic guitar and subtle piano bring us back down as Nicholson takes us out of the track itself, the waves of the pacific ocean gently receding to where they came from.

The song is simple in its acoustic production, utilizing barebones percussion and a very slight piano that never overtakes the song's main focus, Nicholson’s voice and guitar. His vocal tones of Nicholson meet somewhere between early Modest Mouse and Bon Iver’s falsetto and lyricism. The song was written and recorded at 2 am in his bedroom—the original, barebones version cut.

Who is to say where the song will appear in the completed album, it presents as a powerful and emotional interlude for the listener during the album. Only two minutes and 15 seconds long, the song sonically and lyrically is able to take the listener on an entire journey. I anticipate a similar ability during a full-length project by Nicholson.

Written By,

Eli Chavez

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