The Whiskey Predicament is the solo project for Nathan Fey. On his album Cold and Free I was treated to a nice blend of revival folk, garage rock and more. He’s a really good songwriter and there is an array of instrumentation like saxophone and keys which makes the album have a nice flow. I thoroughly enjoyed the vocal melodies and the inflection in his voice in general.
The album is self-described lo-fi. I will say his music is good enough to shine through but even like a twenty-five perfect improvement in audio fidelity would have really made this come together. I’m not talking the production value of a mainstream pop artist but if he could have gotten within In the Aeroplane Over the Sea range it would have hit the spot.
After a very pleasant intro entitled “Hi Buddy!” that contains whistles and horns he goes into “Phantom Smoke Machine.” The song feels a bit sloppy and raw and rides a thin line of going too much that way. His vocals hold the song together and keep the song from falling apart. In fact the vocal melodies made the song for me,
“The Big Easy” is a loose fairly carefree sounding song that reminded me of Belle and Sebastian. Next up is “Bachelor Dad” which has a jazzy jam vibe in the spirit of The Doors and The Velvet Underground. I loved the horns on this track. “What a Ride” is another success and the arguable highlight, I couldn't help but think of Neutral Milk Hotel. The vocals melodies were exceptional.
As the album progressed I was impressed by the songwriting. “Live Out Loud” and “A Salty Affair” stuck out to me.
Fey has enough talent that I want to stress he should go for something more ambitious in the recording department. These songs deserve better treatment. That being said this is a release I wouldn't pass up. There are some notable tracks on here that haven't left my head since I heard them.
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