Local Review: Nicsimian – Lonely Friend EP
Local Music Reviews
Lonely Friend EP
Nicsimian = Ritt Momney + Wallows + Dominic Fike
Nic Smith is creative. He climbs into his basement recording studio—a homey space with a few wires tangled in the corner by the equipment, dim red-toned lighting, scattered with art and memories—where he ascends into his own realm. Here, horizontal planes have personalities, and his closest confidante is the moon. Perhaps this is where Nic Smith becomes Nicsimian. Or maybe he doesn’t have a dedicated creative space; maybe his existence is creative in itself. He works for live music company S&S, writes and surrounds himself with creatives so that his life becomes the creative realm—no ascension necessary. Truth be told, I don’t know from where Nicsimian’s creativity grows or what his recording studio looks like, but artistry seems to be the focus of everything he does.
With the artistic motivation that few truly possess, Smith’s recent furlough meant more time to try something new. As he shared in his Instagram post announcing his debut EP, the musician took wrinkled time and stretched it taught with production lessons and writing music. From this came his first official Nicsimian music: Lonely Friend EP.
Innocence: something that surfaces while falling in love; something most people lose; usually associated with nostalgia; can be found in one’s eyes if you look deep enough; cherished.
The light swing of innocence is what compels the Lonely Friend EP; “You Know I Do” sweeping waves of yellow pansies and bliss into listeners’ ears, off-key “ooooooohhhh”’s meandering over “Employee Of The Month” and naive youth hovering beneath the entire EP. This is not to discredit the authenticity of the content, but rather Lonely Friend taps into the one thing that unites every human: emotion. Ups and downs of love, friendship, personal doubts and inner battles weave their way into every track.
The twinkling vulnerability of falling in love sets the tone for “You Know I Do,” which feeds into “Wallflower”’s youthful anguish. Beer, parties and bad thoughts soon transform into golden years, and by the second half of the song Nicsimian “Can’t wait for tomorrow / We can do it all over again.”
“Employee Of The Month” is the most serious track, illustrating the blurred line between work ethic and compulsion, singing “It doesn’t matter, do it faster / What you desire becomes your master.” This song introduces the main theme of vulnerability in this project. Though the first songs were vulnerable, a lighthearted shield protected the artist. Here, there is nothing to quiet the demanding chorus, which mimics the inner voice of a workaholic. The title is ironic in the perfect way: So often we are rewarded for leaving ourselves behind.
“Overachiever” couldn’t have been a better follow-up track, with Nicsimian cheerfully singing, “You don’t have to be hard all the time / But some American shit has fucked with your mind.” I laughed. It’s the other side of the inner voice, the nurturing self, soothing the workaholic’s exhausted commands. “Overachiever” provides the characteristic positivity to which Nicsimian consistently returns despite any hardships he brings up.
“Well hello again.” The singer greets himself—his “Lonely Friend”—on the final and title track. My favorite theme in Lonely Friend EP is youth and innocence. I don’t relate to Nicsimian’s painful relationship with work—my inner voice tells me to do much less useful things—but his music helped me understand. Smith gives strangers, friends and anyone else who listens a window into his character, and we find that Nic Smith is creative … and hopeful, disciplined, witty, conflicted and loyal. –Harper Haase