by ross jones
The cassette cover to “100”, the first full-length record from Los Angeles native Nikolas Escudero, seems so purposefully shaped to be bold and not try to be anything it isn’t. A monochrome image of a white background and black font simply detailing each title, its almost intentionally offering an idea of what you are about to hear – something honest, forthright and shameless. “Sand” takes such a stance – while immediately pacifying and earnest, Escudero faces seclusion and emptiness for what it is, and embraces such negativism to learn how to feel better.
Whilst enveloping itself within the warmth and hue of an early morning walk, the white of dawn blinding after another long night of being unable to sleep, the minor shapes Nikolas arranges create extant pensiveness that lingers, much like when you are almost attempting to recover from such sorrow but you aren’t sure how to. His brief use of verse is stretched and prolonged, the repetition of “no more” so impactful – evoking the moment you actually recognise something has gone, but you are no where near ready to accept and move on. “One fly / for years // you cry / no tears” Escudero tenderly mutters, empathetic of such shifting fortunes.
As the track draws on a certain space of time that cannot be defined from another from the emptiness felt, Escudero almost seems relieved to be shedding such feelings; another weighted amount off his shoulders as the track closes with bright, conclusive chords, another step towards finding himself again.
Check it out below; the whole album is officially released on November 17th but you can stream it on Bandcamp here.