My new album, Habitual Salvation, is currently available for pre-order. The first two tracks, “Pour Me A River” and “Better When You’re Strange,” are available for immediate download with the pre-order. The album is out November 29.
There is a playful side and a more somber side to these tracks, which were recorder live, just the songs and an acoustic guitar, in the iZotope studios in Cambridge, MA in the spring of 2019. I recorded fifteen songs in one seven-and-a-half hour session, ten of which will appear on the album.
These are raw takes, no more than two or three attempts per song, with a single overdub (for background vocals on the title track). “Pour Me A River” is about choosing love over dogma, and the title track, “Habitual Salvation,” is about paying attention to the real world. “Better When You’re Strange” celebrates oddity, and “Who Wants To Die Happy?” is my attempt to write an upbeat song the night before the sessions to pep things up a bit. “Time To Go South” is about a time I was close to death, and it felt like a slapstick movie.
My entry for this year’s Tiny Desk Contest is “Pour Me A River,” a song I have not yet recorded in the studio, but I do plan to record an “album version.” It’s a tough competition — it seems thousands of talented bands submit videos, more and more every year the contest happens. The big prize is to appear on a Tiny Desk Concert, on which some of my favorite bands and songwriters, from Joe Henry to Wilco, have appeared. I’m tilting at windmills to submit my own work, but I’m in good company.
Click here to see some of this year’s other entries (search for my friends Joe Krafty, Three At Home, and Matt York, among others).
I’ll be appearing on the Twilight Showcase radio show with hosts Sandy & Keith on Sunday, January 28. Tune in at 8PM at 95.9 if you’re in the Plymouth, MA area, or check out how to listen on the Twilight Showcase Facebook page.
I’ve given this site a new look for 2018. Please keep checking back for updates!
Pre-sale for Blue Skies and Broken Arrows has gone live. Order now, and automatically download track one, “Live Through You.” The album will officially be available on iTunes, CDBaby, Google Play, Amazon, and elsewhere on March 3.
This is the title track to the new album, which I should have ready in February. RIP Christmas tree. I hardly knew ye.
This will be track number one when Blue Skies and Broken Arrows is released in a couple of months. Nick D’Amico on keys, Chris Harvey on bass, Sean Cahalin on drums, and Melissa Zaino on background vocals. I was thrilled to hear what these guys did with it, having played the song for the first time in the studio the day we recorded it. We got the keys and rhythm section tracked live for four songs that day, and I don’t think we rehearsed any of them more than three times through. That’s what happens when you work with musicians who are better than you.
I am well on my way to finishing my debut full-length album, Blue Skies and Broken Arrows, and thought I’d give you an advance listen to one of the tracks. This is “Giant Ant In the Sky,” which I wrote as the paranoid rant of a conspiracy theorist a couple of years ago. It is freshly mixed this week. That’s my friend Joe Kowan on the saw. All other instruments/voices are me. I’ll be posting these previews every couple of weeks or so until the album comes out in early 2015, and taking the old ones down as I go.
My friend Joe Kowan and I put together this video and this original song for the Festival Supreme theme song contest over on TalentHouse.com. We laughed a lot making it, working out the kinks in the arrangement as we recorded it several times in front of this drop cloth in Joe’s basement, improvising a bunch of strange banter we decided to cut afterwards and get right to the song, which we call “(I’m Covered In) Festival Surpreme).” It is silly in the extreme, and we hope you enjoy it, whether we win the contest or not. The judges are Tenacious D, who curate Festival Supreme, and the prize is getting to head out to Los Angeles to open the festival with this song.
There is also a community prize, which would be a fine thing to win, and you can help us by voting at the link below by using the page’s Facebook or Twitter buttons, if you so choose. And if you do so choose, Joe and I thank you, and we will think very good thoughts about you. Don’t worry how we’ll know, we’ll know.
THE BIG LINK TO VOTE FOR JOE AND NICK
I’m opening a show at TT the Bear’s on Monday, September 22 for Americana artists Cary T Brown and Aurélien Boilleau, who have come out from France for a short American tour. It’s a tough gig because it’s a Monday, not a night of the week a ton of people think about going to a show. So get some rest over the weekend and give yourself a Monday night treat, and help out some hard-working traveling musicians. Maria Earabino and North-Going Zax are also on the bill. More info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/705850319491416/
A quick update on shows and recordings. First of all, I have finished recording my debut album, Blue Skies and Broken Arrows, and I am working on funding the mixing and mastering. If you’d like to contribute to that, you can buy my EP, Here’s A Moon, on Reverbnation of head to my BandCamp site and get a different version of it a little cheaper: http://nickzaino.bandcamp.com I am hoping for a late fall release, so stay tuned for CD release show dates.
More news soon!