Nic Nassuet - 'Eleutherios'

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

The singer-songwriter genre can sometimes be a bore, oversaturated by melodramatic acoustic guitar performances and predictable lyricism that meanders through equally as predictable subject matter. Fortunately, the album in question for this edition of the Independent Spotlight is none of those things. Meet Nic Nassuet and his new record, ‘Eleutherios.’

I love a good Greek reference. ‘Eleutherios’ actually means ‘The Liberator’ and is present in much of Greek tradition. The album art is equally as complex, boasting a dark, Greek-inspired scene that fooled me into thinking I was about to delve into a metal record. When I queued up ‘Cross and Crown,’ I was met with something that completely surprised me.

The sound of this album is harder than your typical singer-songwriter debut. In ‘Cross and Crown.’ a moody, dark atmosphere compliments Nassuet’s acoustic guitar and dire lyrics. At times, it feels a bit like an 80s song and vocal performance with an acoustic guitar instead of an overdone production.

As the album continues, Nassuet consistently surprises the listener with a number of musical treats. There’s a splendid orchestral section in the backdrop of some of the music, and once the listener arrives at ‘Down,’ they’re introduced to a really tight backing band. The mystical, gothic sound is such an original approach.

‘Immured’ is the most beautiful track on the collection. Spine tingling violin, vocalist Catrina Grimm, and sparing acoustic guitar meld together into a ghostly apparition of a song. I actually prefer Nassuet’s soft side, though there is a certain likability to the angst of the more upbeat songs like ‘When it Falls.’

His strongest, though is when he serenades with his acoustic guitar. There’s such beauty and honest love behind ‘Goodnight, Goodbye.’ The song gives you shivers, plain and simple. ‘She Rides Moonlight’ is equally as gorgeous with an unforgettable mandolin and vocal performance.

Check out Nic Nassuet’s new record; it’s worth your time. It surprises around each turn and the nine tracks are a very satisfying, complete experience.

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