New album: Nick Frater || Earworms

Can you judge a record by its cover? It’s one of my go-to strategies while browsing the internet for new releases. Sure, it’s no waterproof system, but there is just so much music out there and often the artwork (and bandname) is a good indication of the style and quality of music.

In the case of the new Nick Frater record, the not so modestly and yet appropriately titled Earworms, I was already positively biased towards the record because I liked the artwork so much. An additional factor in my positivity bias was that Big Stir Records, who have a knack of finding gems in the hit or miss world of powerpop and guitar pop, would release the record. That album art (by Adam Mallett) is a subtle play on the Beatles’ Revolver and the album title Earworms. The cover features a collage of images from Frater’s life and music.

Sonically, Frater’s music also feels like a collage of styles and influences. Album opener It’s All Rumours is probably my favorite track. It’s classic ’70s radio friendly powerpop. As a whole, the album may be a bit too polished and easy going for me personally, but I appreciate what Frater is going for: “I wanted to make an album that sounds and feels like a lost treasure from the mid ’70s melodic rock scene,” says Frater. “I’ll leave it to your ears to decide, but I think we got pretty close!”

In response, I’d say Frater nailed it with songs like It’s All Rumours and What’s With Your Heavy Heart. If you have a taste for ’60s and ’70s guitar pop, give this one a spin.

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