Nick Wheeldon

Rosy Overdrive - 'Gift' Review

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Nick Wheeldon's Demon Hosts - Gift

Nick Wheeldon is a Paris-based, Sheffield-originating singer-songwriter who’s played in many bands over the past decade, although Gift is only the second record under his own name following last November’s Communication Problems. Wheeldon cites Gene Clark and Alex Chilton as influences, and Gift is subsequently a record of breezy pop songs that fall towards a more American-sounding version of folk rock. His band for the record, The Demon Hosts, give the songs on Gift a fully-developed sound—the piano playing of Sebastien Adam in particular adds an extra layer to these nine tracks.

The melancholic, Sixties-esque, almost-psychedelic pop of opening track “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” is something of a red herring, as Gift then moves into the rollicking folk rock of “No One’s Never” and “Hail & Thunder”. Wheeldon’s jangle pop influences are best felt indirectly through his melodies, but the pensive “I Am the Storm” and (especially) the steadily uplifting “Paint the Town” place this side of him front and center. The Demon Hosts, who were put together specifically for this record, show their mettle in the murky instrumental back half of “Saint Marie”, but Wheeldon brings everything back together for one last wide-eyed pop song in closing track “I Stole the Night”, a strong and fitting closer for a record specializing in such.