Local Spotlight: Nick Haines - Inside Voices
Nick Haines album Inside Voices is a wonderful display of the talent in Austin. This is his solo debut and it hits the mark on every song. The glorious steel guitar (by Carey Bowman), dreamy vocals, slow thoughtful melodies, gleaming guitar leads, and folk-driven acoustic guitar; it all comes together to create a sound worthy of comparison to The Shins and Cub Country.
Inside Voices starts with a bang with ‘The Sleeping Sea.’ His vocals echo and reverberate, as if they were recorded in a barn or warehouse. The steel guitar adds an extra touch of magic to it. The next track ‘Sightline’ is especially Shins-esque with the clever and unusual melody as well as whimsical guitar leads. ‘Coins in a Well,’ a flowing, delicate ballad, is brimming with emotion both vocally and instrumentally. Every part is constructed with a sort of softness and the use of strings makes it even sweeter.
‘Seeing Through It’ is the standout track for me. I always get this one part of the song stuck in my head - “here’s to understanding, here’s to being understood.” The song uses brushes instead of drumsticks, as well as steel guitar, giving it a warm country quality. Throughout the album, I’m reminded not only of Austin, but also the south in general; I can just imagine listening to this while driving through West Texas.
Haines captures the essence of traditional country with elements of indie folk. It’s a very successful marriage of the two styles. Vocally, he really bears emotions in the way he quietly delivers certain lines. The final track, ‘25 Down,’ is one of the best examples of this. The song is stripped down to essentially acoustic guitar and sorrowful melodies with hints of symophonic instruments and electric guitar. His guitar skills also come through on this track, reminding you of the simple beauty of the instrument.
As a whole, Inside Voices is fluid from one song to the next, all sounding dreamy and serene. The slow tempos, wailing guitars, and gentle percussions creates a steady and consistent sound that deserves a wide audience. Check it out if you’re also a sucker for tear-jerking folk melodies.
by Amber Harris