It’s been a pretty busy week here at CMJ. What with being jealous of Blood Orange, Q&As left and right, and the exhausting excitement of that OutKast reuinion, we’ve barely had time to stare out the window and hum Daft Punk songs. But luckily, this morning I stumbled upon the Bandcamp of Vancouver’s Nicholas Krgovich, who just might be the key to a proverbial Chill City. He has almost an insane amount of releases, including ones he did with No Kids, P:ano and GIGI. I counted 21 total, including 7-inches, EPs, and a Christmas album called I Come On All Ye under the moniker Chris Mastheim. Chris Mastheim—get it?
Krgovich’s most recent solo album, Who Cares?, was released this week via Jaz Records. Other than the title track, I’ve heard none of it. Let’s go.
Album art – The subtle black and white geometry is set off by a blare of red cursive à la New York Dolls or American Graffiti. Krgovich wears an almost-smile. Simple, clean, interesting. A 9 out of 10.
The Loser – All I can think of when I hear Krgovich’s warm half-whisper, backed only by the barest hint of a guitar, is “This guy could probably make it snow using only his vocal chords.” He has that power.
A Trip To Town – Before the first 10 seconds of this song are over, Krgovich has already used the word “alone” four times. This is a lonely song. “I’m just a sap in the midst of it,” he laments dryly, followed almost immediately by a carefree whistle. You’re cold, Krgovich.
Baby Blue Tutu – If you wanna be jealous of someone else’s vocal range, listen to Baby Blue Tutu. It’s kind of ’50s doo-wop glazed over by the fact that you died and Jesus is singing to you on a cloud, plus he’s hot.
People – Krgovich apparently wrote this album while “mansion-sitting” for his aunt this past winter, which is probably a pretty isolating experience. In a song about needing people, Krgovich’s soulful tenor sounds abandoned and a little cabin-fever-ish, like it’s actually trying to escape from his body.
The Golden Nugget – There are added vocal harmonies in this one, wrapping the song in a frankincense-scented choir haze. Actually, given the nearly paralyzing minimalism I’ve heard on the rest of this album, I’m starting to think the choir is just in my mind.
A Reverie – A little twangier than usual, glued together by gruff sighs and a limerick-like pattern. It’s over and now I feel like Krgovich has abandoned me too. Come back, Nick.
If listening to Who Cares? has taught me anything, it’s that we should probably all be paying a little more attention to Nicholas Krgovich. And when Christmas comes, I’m gonna make everyone I know do festive holiday things while singing along to I Come On All Ye.