Elliot Nichols is an artist currently based in Fort Worth, TX. Music has been a lifelong passion for him. He started playing drums when he was about 13/14 and picked up the guitar around 17. He has played a few shows in Denton, TX as a rhythm guitarist with a band called the Blimps and did another project as a front man with the same band mates as the Pricks. He is releasing his latest album entitled Mantis.
The sound falls in-between the alternative scene and a slick crooner style mixed in with a bluesy and jazzy lounge vibe. With catchy melodies and an infectious sound, the instrumentals reverberate with a dynamic vibe, Nichols’ vocals are big and bombastic with a full-flavored style. Nichols sings his heart out, wearing his emotions on his sleeve. What you get is many a lively performance filled with verve and enthusiasm. Nichols certainly gives it his all in these fully realized and full ranging compositions. There is no holding back in these energized numbers.
Mantis opens up with “Moment” where a bluesy twang arises from the guitars and pulsating bass lines. A wonky and funky sound arises from the rhythms. Nichols’ vocals comes in crooner style with big flourishes and finishes. A jazzy vibe could be elicited. Due to the dissonance, the vocals sound like they are sung underwater. This is a little distracting.
Percussions add in a lively backbeat on “Bruce Lee.” The acoustic guitar gives off a dynamic vibe with evocative strumming. Nichols’ vocals come across as somber sounding. An Eastern vibe could be detected from the instrumentals. The Eastern flavor really propels this track. Nichols’ vocals give off a real cool and smooth jazzy vibe.
Jazzy rhythms give off a melodic flair towards the start of “One And The Same.” The acoustic and electric guitar are both interwoven into this song. An electronic beat also sidles in, adding a more electric pulse. An atmospheric vibe courses through the ambience. The vocals are affected by auto-tunes, giving off a robotic flair. Due to the auto-tuned effects, it was hard to discern what the lyrics were saying.
On the closer “Return,” wonky and funky bass lines arises toward the start of this track. It offers up a groovy pulse to the recording. Nichols’ smooth crooner-style vocals creates a really invigorating cadence. His vocals are silky and soothing. Overall, the music is in equal parts arresting and dynamic.
According to the artist, the album was recorded in his apartment with GarageBand on his iPhone 7. He used his headphone mic to capture audio from his guitar and vocals and played the keys in-app and programmed the drums.
Due to the fact that this album was recorded via iPhone, the recording came off as a little distorted. I thought that for the most part the sound quality sounded like it was being recorded underwater. I don’t know if the discordant quality was on purpose, but I felt this detracted from the cool jazz lounge vibe that the album was leaning towards. From what I heard on this album, I was wondering what the artist could do with a professional studio and equipment at his disposal. This is a talented artist, and with the right resources, the results could be unbelievable.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook