Music Review – Nick Peay

Artist: Nick Peay
EP: Sobering

One of the best things about listening to indie music is that you are often treated to the unconventional. What I mean by this is that you rarely come across music that sounds like something you would hear on the radio top charts. I happen to think that is fantastic. Music is a dynamic entity, capable of capturing the essence of humanity. Nick Peay is one such musician capable of such artistic expression, giving life to his music and resonating with the average person.

Fresh from Louisville, Kentucky, Sobering is Nick’s latest EP. Nick has been playing music since he was very young, playing with the band OK Zombie for several years before embarking on a solo career. Similar to other singer/songwriters, Nick’s music is very down-to-earth and Nick relies heavily on real world experiences to create his music. Influenced by The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel, Nick’s sound is similar to those mentors but is also extremely unique.

Released in early September, Sobering is very short, with only five tracks. The album addresses an intense personal issue, the battle with an addiction, by combining the raw lyrics with catchy music. As well, the EP is a story where the listener is privy to the main character’s descent into the perils of an addiction, hitting rock bottom, and then going on a journey of redemption.

However, Nick does mention that “?while it [the EP] isn’t autobiographical,” he continues, “I think it tells a story that is probably familiar to all of us. People lose themselves in addictions every day, and it doesn’t have to be drugs or alcohol ? it might be a bad relationship or a job, and it’s up to us to find our way out. I believe Sobering speaks to all these things.” Nick’s wisdom and insight surprised me, especially how he made it clear that an addiction doesn’t have to be drugs or alcohol, which is typically what comes to mind when one things of addiction.

Given this understanding of Nick’s intentions for his music, it became immediately clear that Nick’s unique take on people’s vices resided in his lyrics. After listening to each song closely, I gained a new appreciation for the story that Nick is telling.

The musical accompaniment in each song is equally as raw as the lyrics. There is the typical rock sound, but occasionally Nick rounds out his sound with string instruments such as a violin. Although I liked this EP, I did find that the songs sounded off, just not quite right and the music was slightly unbalanced. But I think in an odd way that this unbalance added to the overall theme of the EP, however, I don’t know if this was intentional or not.

Each song on the EP is special and fantastic, but I really loved the sound in “I Won’t Fall in Love”. The song has a slower tempo than the other songs, but I really liked the rhythm that develops as the song progresses. By the time the chorus comes around, the subtle violin enhances the melancholy tone of the music, but it also adds a slightly optimistic feel. As well, I absolutely loved the harmony between Nick’s singing and the music.

So if you are a fan of heartfelt and deep lyrics paired with brilliantly composed music, I highly recommend checking out Nick’s EP Sobering.

Samantha Stevens is an aspiring writer who loves combining her love for literature with photography, painting, music, and all creative pursuits.