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EP REVIEW: Nick Peay - Feathers and Fables
By Cyrus Rhodes - 11/06/2012 - 04:37 PM EST

Artist: Nick Peay
Album: Feathers and Fables (EP)
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Acoustic folk/blues/jazz
Sounds Like: Todd Rundrgren, Bread, Tom Petty, Train, The Beatles
Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 7/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 7/10
Songwriting Skills: 7/10
Performance Skill: 7/10
Best Songs: Fly Away, Mockingbird
Weakness: A few Winded Songs, EP Release
CD Review:

Louisville based singer/Songwriter Nick Peavy offers optimism, imagery of Flight “Feathers & Fables” while seeking a niche he can call home on his latest EP. Feathers & Fables is the highly anticipated follow-up to Peay’s 2011 EP Life & Love & Us, which featured the singer—who emerged as a solo artist after a few years as frontman for the rock band OK Zombie--exploring his fascination for the ukulele, which he calls “a happy little instrument.” With the exception of the “Two Miserable Blackbirds”--the electric guitar driven opener that Peay calls his “Ryan Adams-like rock anthem sounding song”--the tracks on the EP flow along on the strains of Peay’s crisp acoustic guitar lines. Some are very stripped down, while others feature colorful production touches (like the congas and dobro on “Mockingbird”).

The EP gently takes to flight with soothing intro piece “Two Miserable Blackbirds.” This song methodically serves up delicate guitar ambiance against driving rock rhythms, impressive harmonica accents, meshed against impressive harmonies and vocal flair from Peay. Track 2 “Fly Away” shifts gears a bit with flowing rock rhythm, impressive Americana fretwork against hooky vocal melodies from Peay and company. Track 3 “Home” serves up a clever methodical piece complete with clever lyrical content, against an impressive musical build that flows and ebbs it’s way through to emotional fruition. As the EP slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of classic Todd Rundrgren, Bread, Tom Petty, Train and even The Beatles. This EP makes a pretty solid first impression. Right from the start you will notice rich musical textures overflowing everywhere, full of variety, solid playing and world class songwriting. I would classify this music as acoustic pop rock, with a slight aftertaste of classic rock and alternative rock. The songs themselves are addictive, and thought provoking complete with passionate, yet upbeat subject matter. The musicianship of this band is rock solid across the board. The players themselves write, and play there parts extremely well. Turing our attention to singer Nick Peavy – let me go on record to say his voice is amazing. Peays' voice works well across the board and fills the sonic space peacefully and unobtrusively. If he wrote all these songs - well he could be bigger than any of currently realize. The EP Ends with Track 4 “Mockingbird” the perfect finalle statement for an EP like this.

I generally don't give out 10 star ratings to EP. The full length CD is a more complete snapshot to judge an artist from. All songs over 3 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line.

This latest Feathers and Fables (EP) by Nick Peavy is an impressive musical sampler from start to finish. The music is clean, goes down smooth, and the messages are extremely thought provoking and passionate in nature. It’s strong suit – the deeply rich production value, amazing songs and strong vocal presence from Nick Peavy possesses enough musical talent and songwriting prowess to be extremely dangerous in 2011. I can’t wait to hear the full length CD hopefully later on this Summer.

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