At times it’s easier to keep a tough persona rather than really sink into those feelings you’ve grown to find embarrassing. They are not embarrassing. Everyone feels alone, hatred for themselves, and confusion about what’s going on in their own personal lives. It’s not embarrassing, but when you are raised in a society that has made it out to seem so, it becomes braver to be honest than to be stoic.
Nikolas Escudero is mostly known as the bassist for Never Young. In the last couple months, he released not a only a whole book but on June 1, 2016 he released 100. It took him six months to make it something he was happy with. It started out as a want, became a necessity. Something he’s always done for himself, something that’s always been automatic, but now it’s something bigger. He recorded it all by himself, kept it secret for a while, and the day that it was finally out, was let free.
100 is personal. It’s the return to a simpler mental space where you could ignore the world around you. The lyrics that can be thought as simple and naive, but they hit so much harder due to the perfect simplicity of the instrumentals. The words are what kick you, surprise you, and remind you are not alone. The instrumentals allow the album to feel even more nostalgic, somehow allowing you to just feel alright: “Tell me the darkest things/ let’s see what you’ve got to hide.”
The title 100 comes from the idea of “English 100,” the beginning course to something new. With a unifying sensibility and nostalgic vulnerability to the whole album, it does feel like something we all have been wanting. I know it’s something I’ve wanted more of from the Bay Area scene, since a lot of times it feels like everyone is trying to create an image, or be angry and proud, or just seem unbeatable. When I am beatable and more soft than proud, and in the end love music that does not try to turn away their inner softness, but works to understand it, and that’s what Nikolas Escudero’s new album is to me.
Listen to it, take your time on it, download for free, buy the cassette, and if you want to see it live, maybe email Nikolas yourself and set something up.