Brutal Lives (Fluff and Gravy Records, Sept 2016) is easily Nick Jaina’s most daring album to date. And that is saying a lot when you consider that Nick has made a career out of re-inventing himself. The 15-track album primarily features work that he originally composed for a contemporary dance piece in the summer of 2014. These pieces were all rejected by the choreographer, often with no other explanation other than "too sad." Nick thought the recordings had some valuable in them, so he refashioned them into songs. Initially, he would use pieces of the songs as background music during his book tour of 2015, the band repeating certain sections, as he read excerpts from his memoir, “Get It While You Can”, over the top. Later he would vocals and choruses to give them a different life, and ambient noises resembling injured pigeons with drone propellers.
In addition to these pieces, Nick also included compositions written during a process called The 20 Song Game, where he would arrange a day with friends to try to compose and record 20 new songs in one twelve hour period. Stylistically, the album jumps from the indie-pop standout “Make A Life”, to the haunting “Co-Creators”, to the jarring “Saw You On The Train Last Night”. And I swear, “Fell Too Much In Love” would be right at home in a John Hughes film. Though the collection is unusual and misfit in its sound and origins, it somehow seems to fit together seamlessly. Due to the unusual provenance of the recordings, almost every instrument was played and recorded by Nick himself. He gave the collection of songs the title that he proposed for the original dance piece, which was also rejected: Vies Brutales, or Brutal Lives.
released September 16, 2016
produced by Nick Jaina
mixed by Juniana Lanning and Nick Jaina
additional mixing by Lee Howard
mastered by Lee Howard
cello by Zach Banks
violin by Lauren Jacobson
additional percussion by Matt Berger
chamber arrangements by Richie Greene
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