I have been discovering Nicholas Krgovich's wonderful music this year and working my way through his catalog. This one might be my favorite so far. His use of jazzy arrangements and female backing singers truly enhance his exceptional songwriting and keyboard playing.
Favorite track: A Day In October.
I've listened to this album countless times, and not only have I not grown tired of it, I come away liking it more each time. There's a terrific sense of restraint throughout. Everything has a purpose, so you're never distracted by unnecessary noise. Love the opening 1-2 punch.
Favorite track: The World Tonight.
This record could just as easily be called “In A Sunny South Pasadena Living Room” or “In A Tin-Roofed Hut On A Remote Island In Winter”, the settings where cult acclaimed songwriter Nicholas Krgovich wrote the elegant new album “In An Open Field”. It is the result of Krgovich emptying out his life and committing to songwriting as a daily practice; sip coffee, make toast, sit at the piano and just hoping that the clock hands spin and at the end of the day there’s a new demo to listen to while making dinner and settling down to quiet evenings of re-runs and the occasional whiskey.
“I was interested in exhausting all of my tricks,” he says of his most lived-in and clear record to date, “just write and write and write to see if I could get to the bottom of something. But I don’t think that’s how things work. The bottom just keeps opening up and there’s always some more murk floating down there.” He continues “In the end I wasn’t hoping to master anything, or put the top on the pyramid. I just wanted to make stuff and flow and see what happens.”
After filling up boxes with songs and sketches, “In An Open Field” was born. Tracked with a “live” band in Coventry, UK, consisting of Mason Le Long, Joe Carvell and Matthew Rheeston overdubbed in Los Angeles, CA and Vancouver, BC, the record flows with a sophisticated, assured grace that in Steely Dan-like fashion belies the listless melancholy and knottiness found throughout the lyric sheet. Krgovich expresses the anxiety of the age in a way that is somehow both brutal and gentle. People have their phones and the internet, if there is a moment, they go to a screen and it is a constant turning away from not knowing, turning away from a lack of meaning and getting comfortable in moving through the world with no reference, no anchor point beyond the thin veneer of culture.
This record came from Krgovich looking at the thing he was doing, while he was doing it, and openheartedly going “Why? What’s the point? What is the elusive thing I’m searching for? If I write a great song, so what? What is my music directed at? An audience? Myself? And if an audience hears this and loves me for it, then what?”. “In An Open Field” is a “dropping of the phone” and explores a widespread existential crisis within a personal frame in a way that is raw and direct but with a lightness and sensitivity to the uncomfortable human condition it’s addressing. Luckily, this is all wrapped up in irresistible melodies, airtight songwriting, beautifully nuanced arrangements, and buoyant performances from musicians like trombonist Peter Zummo (Arthur Russell’s frequent collaborator), legendary pedal steel player B.J. Cole, Angel Deradoorian, and psych-pop wiz Chris Cohen.
From the feather-light saxophone harmonies on “Country Boy” to the gorgeously floaty first single “My Riverboat” the record is the finest work yet of a man who has built a formidable discography over the last fifteen years with groups No Kids, P:ano & Gigi, and collaborations with Amber Coffman (ex-Dirty Projectors), Mount Eerie and Nite Jewel (who also guests on the record). There is much to delight and turn over on “In An Open Field”, a gentle adventure from a master of sophisticated pop bliss. Get into it.
released December 1, 2017
All songs written and produced by Nicholas Krgovich (SOCAN 2017)
Mixed by John Collins Mastered by Joao CarvalhoRecorded between October 2012 and May 2016 in Coventry, UK, Gabriola Island, BC, Vancouver, BC and Los Angeles, CAThe Coventry recordings were engineered by Martyn Hall, Liam Hicks and Ed Hull.
Published by Shopping Music Painting by Jake Longstreth
Layout & Design by Jan Lankisch
Nicholas Krgovich – Singing, keys, drum programming
Matthew Rheeston – Drum kit, percussion
Joe Carvell – Bass, Double Bass, 12-String Acoustic
Mason Lelong – Electric Guitar
Andy Whitehead – Electric guitar on I Don’t Know & On the Main Drag
Peter Zummo – Trombone, percussion, singing
Joe Santa Maria – Saxophone
Andrew Lessman – Percussion
Mariko Molander – Violin
Chris Cummings – Lowrey organ, Roland SR-09
Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Singing
Angel Deradoorian – Singing
Nedelle Torrisi – Singing
Mokoy Izeidi – Singing on A List
Nyota Izeidi – Singing on A List
BJ Cole – Pedal Steel
Chris Cohen – Singing
Ramona Gonzales – Singing
Ryan Peters - Percussion
Nicholas Krgovich is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Vancouver, Canada. Described by the legendary Robert Wyatt as “quite beautiful, very touching… human” he has been releasing records and playing shows since 2002.
supported by 35 fans who also own “IN AN OPEN FIELD”
this record is so evocative of a specific time of day, in a specific room, in a specific time of my childhood in 1991, that I get kind of lost in memory when I listen. this is music overflowing with warmth and kindness, a soft world for anyone who needs it Ashley Rivera
supported by 14 fans who also own “IN AN OPEN FIELD”
I prefer the more intimate tunes like the opening track, but the entire album is stellar. I also enjoy the weird chord progressions in tunes like "Time Escaping" that don't seem to work at first, but it all falls into place nicely. The album builds over time and gets louder and spacey. Should make for a great live show. Bart