Brooklyn-based folk-pop singer-songwriter Nick Stevens, aka The Eighty Six Seas, recently released his debut EP, This Is Just A Simple Song, a collection of songs offering perspective for anyone trying to make sense of the world and life.
While studying at the University of Connecticut, Nick began writing songs, performing as a solo artist, followed by playing with indie-rock outfit The Condescending Foxes. Later, he relocated from Boston to Brooklyn, where he discovered an array of new sounds, including baroque pop and electronica.
It was there that Nick infused his folk music with a variety of sonic influences. Nick explains, “When I moved to Brooklyn, I finally found the confidence to record these songs and get them out into the world.”
Thus, The Eighty Six Seas came to life – an homage to the 1986 Boston Celtics, commonly referred to as ‘the 86 C’s.’
Nick performs with a number of collaborators but often recreates the soundscapes via his guitar, synth, and loop pedals. The urge to experiment with different iterations of his material has only grown with time. According to Stevens, “I try to do things that will surprise myself and the audience.”
Encompassing six tracks, highlights on the EP include “Guy and Girl,” opening on a sparkling piano riding a thumping kick-drum as Nick’s tender voice joins with a luscious female voice, imbuing the lyrics with gentle, quixotic tones.
A personal favorite because of the alluring feel and flow of the music, “The Insomniac’s Lament” travels on a tasty folk-pop rhythm topped by Nick’s evocative vocals, giving the lyrics unbridled, captivating flavors. Residual upbeat energy makes this track a definite earworm.
“Heathcliff At The Prom” rolls out on a light, bouncing rhythm as a gleaming piano ripples. When the horns enter, giving the tune bright energy, the tune takes on an ebullient savor. The last track, “Desire Lines,” opens on a delicious drum shuffle as a crying violin adds delicate colors. Nick’s warm voice imbues the lyrics with the ache of longing as the folk melody exudes hints of country aromas.
With This Is Just A Simple Song, The Eighty Six Seas deliver superbly wrought musical concoctions, rife with enticing melodies and Nick’s redolent voice.