It’s strange all the different ways there are to discover new music. My boss at my other job asked a buddy to recommend something to listen to whilst he worked from home recently. His friend said, “Nodista Freeze.” A few days later, we were all sitting in the warehouse, getting T-shirts sent out to a grateful nation. The boss put on Nordista Freeze. Specifically, it was his participation in the Lightning 100’s Music City Mayhem, a competition for new music talent held annually in Nashville. After a few songs, I downloaded his entire album.
Another coworker likened him to Foxygen. I was put in the mind of Cincinnati’s own Foxy Shazam, as well as ‘60s and ’70s psychedelic pioneer Roky Erickson of 13th Floor Elevators fame. In any case, the influences are many, yet Freeze is a unique talent.
The album, Big Sky Pipe Dream, is inspired by the Beach Boys’ very great Pet Sounds, though it doesn’t start that way. The opening track, “Dolphin,” sounds like The Strokes circa Room on Fire, complete with filtered vocals. “Wysteria” is where the Brian Wilson influence kicks in. Freeze’s vocals go a bit off the rails in one spot, but not in a crazy way. It’s just that the phrasing is kind of silly. The vocal harmonies with his band, though, are top-notch, particularly on this track.
“First Time,” one of the singles, follows in the same vein, though it has more of that folk-rock feel. The other single, “All I Wanna Do,” is amazing, and echoes the aforementioned Roky Erickson while still letting Freeze’s unique style come through.
Veering into jangle rock is “Leaving Me” while “Wonderball” is more country-flavored, as is “Slow it Down,” which isn’t that surprising what with him being from Nashville. And it’s more classic country, like the ‘60s and ‘70s, than so-called today’s country. Those songs, too, also fit right into the album’s overall sound.
It makes you wonder how many other great artists are out there waiting to be stumbled upon. I nearly missed this. It came out last fall. Perhaps if I used Spotify more, it might have recommended him to me, but who knows? Looking at the things it suggests to me now, it seems unlikely. In any case, don’t let Nordista Freeze pass you by. A final note, as it were, our ranking system only goes up to 10. I easily could have given this an 11.
PF Wilson has been writing about music, TV, radio, and movies for over 20 years. He has also written about sports, business, and politics with his work appearing in Cincinnati CityBeat, The Houston Press, Cleveland Scene, Cincinnati Magazine, Cincy Magazine, Atomic Ranch, and many more. Check out his podcast PF’s Tape Recorder available from Podbean or in iTunes.