Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Listen: Golden Suits - "Is It Wrong"

photo by Sammy Goldfien
When Fred Nicolaus made his solo debut back in 2013,  I had a lot of expectations. Expectations established from years of listening to his former band Department of Eagles. Golden Suits, both the new moniker Nicolaus elected for his new venture and the album named  after said moniker managed not only to exceed all my possible expectations but highlight in retrospect Nicolaus' strengths as part of the Department of Eagles duo. Golden Suits was an album of accomplished songwriting, polished chamber pop, and agile indie rock beaming with sincerity and established without a shadow of a doubt that Nicolaus' deft lyricism was on par with Daniel Rossen's despite Nicolaus' slight detour after their hiatus.

On "Is It Wrong", the first taste of what's next after Nicolaus' heart-on-his-sleeve debut, Nicolaus obfuscates the literary influences in favor of a much more straightforward delivery and leans into his more traditional rock influences over the crispness of  the arrangements of the debut. Where Golden Suits tracks' seemed meticulously and pristinely crafted in its entirely, "It It Wrong" is built around its colossal choruses; where Golden Suits was steeped in the heartbreak of what could be and never would, "It Is Wrong" radiates with positivity even in the face of uncertainty. Nicolaus approaches both the songwriting and composition of "Is It Wrong" from such a dynamically different place than his debut and the result is a song that pushes the sound of the debut forward but not into completely uncharted territory. "Is It Wrong" is the incremental progress that happens when life goes on, different in ways but not wholly divorced from it's source material. Happy is a decidedly good sound for Nicolaus and Golden Suits and "Is It Wrong" has my interest piqued in what more of that would sound like. Here's hoping it's not too long before Nicolaus delivers.

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