Building Down is the solo project of Nick Elliott, a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer. He recently released Everything Promised which is a six-song album. I was reading about this release and truth be told I felt like I read some version of this hundreds of times this year. He explains, “I wrote the songs on the EP, and many others, over the span of a year. I wrote a lot about what I was seeing happening in America; the turmoil, unrest and every growing division. While the songs were all written prior to the pandemic, the recording and producing of the music was definitely influenced by the pandemic and the effects on my city.” This of course makes sense when thinning about what a crazy year 2020 has been.
The EP starts with “Truth Bought and Sold” and it sounds like an atmospheric blues number. I enjoyed the soulful vocals and the bedroom like instrumentation, which leaned towards electronic sounding, was an interesting juxtaposition.
“Thoughts in Feedback” has a similar feel. The guitar and vocals have a bit of Gary Clark Jr type of vibe. I liked the groove in general but still felt a division between the synths, digital percussion and organic elements.
“The Other Side” rocks in a certain way and has an ’80s flavor. For some reason the mix seemed more narrow on this song. I thought the guitar solo was sharp. “Sustain” felt like the first highlight. The instrumentation gelled in a way that felt symbiotic and less like disparate elements. It’s a slower song and this is also his best vocal performance. I even really liked the manipulated vocal effects in the song.
The energy increases on “Right Here” which has its moments. Last up “If We Just Hold On” which was the other highlight but also sounded like a different artist in many ways. This song is basically folk with harmonica and acoustic guitar. I liked this style on him and encourage him to explore it further with subsequent releases.
I would have loved to hear some of the songs with a full studio band instead of the synths and digital instrumentation. Food for thought. That being said there are some moments on this release which come together quite well.
Overall, I thought this was a solid release displaying different sides to his talent. Recommended.
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