Nick Waterhouse

Nick Waterhouse Release Videos For “Hide & Seek” And “The Fooler”

Photo by Benjamin Heath

The Fooler is partly a farewell to and reclamation of a version of Waterhouse’s past existence framed by a city that is part dream, part reality and part potential – a tale of city haunted by song – a place filled with 45s produced by people like Bert Berns or released on Scepter, Wand, Atlantic and Verve and heard on the jukeboxes in iconic San Francisco institutions like Tosca, Specs and Trieste in North Beach

“We had a joke in the studio,” says Nick Waterhouse. “Some of the guys were like, ‘Nick, you’re gonna end up at a press conference like Dylan in ’65: “Who’s The Fooler?” ‘I don’t know, man, maybe it’s you! Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m becoming The Fooler right now…’”

The title of the sixth album from the Californian singer-songwriter is more than just the name of one of its dozen immaculate tracks. The Fooler is both a clue and a red herring. The Fooler is the observed and the observer, narrator and subject, truth and lie. The Fooler is the shadow and reflection of a city the artist knows sufficiently well to wander with his eyes closed, and a place which very possibly never even existed. The Fooler is not so much an unreliable narrator as a constantly shifting perspective. The Fooler is the new album by Nick Waterhouse, and it’s a lot.

Today the artist shares two new album singles and videos for “Hide And Seek” and “The Fooler.” “Hide And Seek” puts you in the city of dreams that The Fooler unfolds in – and the sound is the place. This track was initially conceived in the summer of 2021 in California, looking out at the coast of the Long Beach harbor. It was a surreal afternoon as massive freighters hung on the horizon, like spaceships in some science fiction film waiting to invade the coast. The whole effect threw into contrast the largeness and terror of the inner life that an insecure relationship can hold. And title track “The Fooler” is about how your own heart and your memories can betray you in really nice ways. Waterhouse also created another way fans can tune in to the music. As depicted in the “Hide and Seek” music video, people can dial into his The Fooler radio show on KFLR and request the new singles. Lines are now live at +44 20 3514 0357.

“Many of the stories in the record come from that feeling of plasticity,” says Waterhouse. “What is memory? What is time? What is love between two human beings like in this imaginary city? It’s Cubist. A listener sees the angles of my life – and inexorably, my career – reflected in this work from all sides at once. I started thinking again about my university days, about modernist writers like Virginia Woolf, Christopher Isherwood, Hart Crane, or Ford Maddox Ford; about memory and how it betrays you; what you can see and what you can’t.”



Recorded by Mark Neill in Valdosta, Georgia, the album is a song-cycle of sorts, the arc of the album telling a tale of a city and its denizens. “There’s a phase shift that occurred writing this record,” says Waterhouse. “I had a breakthrough in how to tell stories in songs. It’s like an epiphany. I started realizing how I could bend time in these words and a lot of the things that weave through the record. I have a perspective as a narrator now, instead of being the occupant of the songs.


The title of the sixth album from Californian singer-songwriter Nick Waterhouse is more than just the name of one of its tracks. The Fooler is both a clue and a red herring. The Fooler is the observed and the observer, narrator and subject, truth and lie. The Fooler is the shadow and reflection of a city the artist knows sufficiently well to wander with his eyes closed, and a place which very possibly never even existed. The Fooler is not so much an unreliable narrator as a constantly shifting perspective.

The Fooler is the new album by Nick Waterhouse, and it’s a lot. Recorded by Mark Neill (Black Keys; Los Straightjackets; Dave Cobb) in Valdosta, Georgia, it’s a song-cycle of sorts, the arc of the album telling a tale of a city and its denizens. “Many of the stories come from a feeling of plasticity,” says Waterhouse. “What is memory? What is time? What is love between two human beings like in this imaginary city? A phase shift occurred writing this record. I had a breakthrough in how to tell stories in songs, like an epiphany. I started realising how I could bend time in a lot of the things that weave through the record. I have a perspective as a narrator now, instead of being the occupant of the songs.”

Waterhouse released his debut album, Time’s All Gone, in 2012. His last record, Promenade Blue, came out in 2021. In his music you will hear echoes of things you might think you know, or believe you remember, filtered through the lens of a unique artistic perspective. You will hear rhythm and blues, garage rock, radio soul and wee-small-hours balladry – but reconfigured, made new. In Waterhouse’s music, the time is both now and then. The past is the present is the future. The sound is classic yet unclassifiable.

The Fooler was produced by Neill in his Soil of the South studio in Valdosta, Georgia. A former room in a ballet school, Soil of the South is in the great tradition of American studios such as Chess and Sun. “Not the place that looks like a spaceship, more like the place that looks like a dentist office in 1965,” says Waterhouse. They tracked the album fast near the end of 2021. A further handful of days for overdubs and mixing early in 2022 and it was finished. “Making this record was like going to see the kung fu master on the mountain,” says Waterhouse. “You can probably draw a through line from my first record to this one, but this is something else entirely. The sonic landscape Mark designed is so much further into space, with reverb and depth.”

The result is a record that offers up new riches and fresh perspectives with every spin. From the hidden corners of ‘Hide & Seek’ and the roadhouse soul of ‘Play To Win’ to the primitive, attitudinal, chugging two-chord thrill of ‘Late In The Garden’, it builds inexorably to the drama of the title track and pulsing roll-and-rock of the final pay off, ‘Unreal, Immaterial’. Play it once and it sounds immediately like a collection of great songs. Play it again – and you will – and it feels like a novel or film slowly unveiling its secrets, kaleidoscopic in its narrative complexity. “Especially during this record, I started just becoming what Allen Ginsberg called a pure breath,” says the artist. “I was becoming pure breath with my ideas.”


Posted

in

by

Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: