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Nicholas Krgovich: On Sunset

This is music of the highest calibre and it speaks plain universal truths.
Nicholas Krgovich
On Sunset
NK World Service
2014-09-23

Vancouver songwriter Nicholas Krgovich is best known for being a member of P:ano, No Kids and Gigi, in addition to his work with Nite Jewel, Mount Eerie and Amber Coffman of the Dirty Projectors. However, he struck out on his own with last year’s Who Cares?, and now he’s back with a much more orchestrated affair, On Sunset, which is a song cycle about life in his second home of Los Angeles. And, boy, does this album sparkle from front to back. Combining elements of R&B and blue-eyed soul, On Sunset is a joyous album of the experiences of living in a crystal city. The album shimmers, glitters and affects you to the very core. Song after song, Krgovich brings out his pure pop arsenal and this is just a spellbinding effort that may make you wonder, “Hey, why haven’t I heard of this guy before?”. Krogvich is a man of songwriting talents, and On Sunset vividly and effortlessly combines elements of ’70s AM gold and ’80s new wave.

It’s hard to cherry pick the best track on On Sunset because, truth be told, they’re all great. “Cosmic Vision” could pass for a Hall and Oates song from their vintage ’81 period. “Along the PCH on Oscar Night” has a certain new romantic vibe to it. “City of Night” might inspire you to clap along to the beat. What makes this album especially striking is that, for an album about LA, this is orchestral and panoramic — the sort of stuff that sounds like it was also cribbed from movie soundtracks in addition to previous pop chart toppers. I’m not sure why this guy isn’t being handled by a major label, because not only is his music that affecting, but it’s produced and mixed by John Collins (Destroyer, the New Pornographers) and it is polished to a gleam. When you listen to On Sunset, which is, of course, a reference to a city street, you may wish that this sun never goes down on you. However, that’s what the repeat button is for, and you will mash your fingers pressing it. This is music of the highest calibre, one that weaves a narrative of the dreamers that populate the west coast, and it speaks plain universal truths. Maybe, with some luck, Krgovich might eventually be singled out on the red carpet instead of feeling left out during an awards ceremony night and singing about it.

RATING 9 / 10
PopMatters