Like a musical multivitamin, Nichols’ music weaves together the experience of a micro-mushroom-dosed pizza for your gay date night with the magnesium/iron combo of comedy and tragedy. A childhood Beatles fascination grows well next to the sounds of the golden state, weaving vivid guitar into operatic commentary veiled in a true California partly-cloudy forecast. Ramon is a rock opera that explores the backstory of John Lennon’s Mean Mr. Mustard.
Each track of the album is a three to four minute romp inside a specific emotion, playing out theatrical puzzle pieces that build on each other’s sounds. There’s so much to be said about the perfectly fuzzed strings and how they fit seamlessly into powerfully catchy lyrics, versatile and relevant percussion. Their work touches on sounds that might feel homey to those of us who have been listening to the likes of Kill Rock Stars’ Elliott Smith, bounces distinctly off of the 1960’s technicolour daisy of the British Invasion and matures into Nichols’ specific artistry. It’s intricate, cathartic work made by and for the people who need it.
Caleb Nichols is a musician, writer, poet and librarian from California. Since the early 2000’s they have played in a variety of bands, from DIY folks-punks the Bloody Heads to buzz band Port O’Brien, along with their own projects Grand Lake, CHURCHES, and Soft People. Caleb is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Bangor University in Wales and also owns and operates the SLO Book Bike, a bike-powered, pop-up bookshop in San Luis Obispo.