On its fourth lp Snapshot of a Beginner, Nova Scotia quartet Nap Eyes offers up casual profundities. From the earliest stirrings of life (“Primordial Soup”) to the looming specters of present day (“Mark Zuckerberg”), songwriter Nigel Chapman paints the existential with a light, almost comedic brush. And while his thoughtful understatement remains—he delivers the line “transcendence is all around us” like a sly toss off—Nap Eyes has never sounded wider, embracing a mellow grandeur a la Yo La Tengo or Wilco.
With his “It’s Only Life, That’s All” playlist, guitarist Brad Loughead created a mix “mainly as a way to occupy myself, [to] get lost in beautiful music and turn my brain off.” It encompasses familiar themes—”of love, mortality, troubled times…’ya know, the light stuff,” but like Snapshot of a Beginner, it achieves a powerful effect by just easing on by. Loughead says: “I feel it to be both a calming and entertaining listening experience, and hope you do too.”
Hiroshi Yoshimura-Street / Smokey Robinson-The Agony And The Ecstasy / Gianna Marchetti-February / Rubba-Way Star / Roy Ayers Ubiquity-Ain’t Got Time / Yves Jarvis-Pigs At The Helm / Quincy Jones-Slam City / Tropic Of Cancer-It’s All Come Undone / John Cameron-Half Forgotten Daydreams / Frank Harris & Maria Marquez-Loveroom / Insides-Yes / Big Thief-Magic Dealer / Nine Inch Nails / Mariah Carey-34 Ghosts IV / You’re Mine / Roger Eno & Brian Eno-Blonde / Hiran’ny Tanoran’ny Ntao Lo-Oay Lahy E / Blind Willie Johnson-Trouble Will Soon Be Over / Chad VanGaalen-Chronograph #1 / Cindy Lee Woland-Bondage Of The Mind / Willie Wright-It’s Only Life, That’s All / The DeZurik Sisters-I’m Gonna Ride Away From Here