Global pandemic has caused no shortage of disappointments — between cancelled tours, loss of revenue stream for musicians, and shaky ground for venues across the world — but hearing that it’s derailed a third One Eleven Heavy that was on its way to being recorded in Nashville this year definitely lands with a certain pang in the heart. The band’s Nick Mitchel Maiato had a full crop of songs written that he’d been passing between himself and band members in the run up, but rather than sit on them and stew Nick’s decided to swerve from this being a 111H record into a solo jaunt that retains the same spirit that’s blossomed in the band over the past few years. It’s always a bold move to lead with a 9+ minute single but those who’ve seen the band live and in their element know that this is just the kind of deep vibe dive that exemplifies what Nick, James, Dan, and Hans have been brewing when they stretch out.
“Show Yourself” pounces on the classic jam aesthetic that Nick’s been gnawing at with the Heavies, corralling New Riders and Mighty Baby into a sunshine-swathed tangle that’s pushing Crazy Horse into the creek to cool off. The song works through time changes so easily they barely register, not neck snapping into new gears but subtly mutating into grooves that grow in all directions. The accompanying video is a delightful barrage of imagery that’s just as malleable and kaleidoscopic in its own sepia soaked way. While I’m wistful thinking how these songs might have had a few three part harmonies and the plunk of Chew’s piano threaded through them, I’m happy to see Nick get his due on the solo slate. Plus, I know that a third album is still on the horizon, making this kind of a bonus Heavy in its own way. Those chasing the tail of Cosmic Americana would do well to pick this up when it lands on Was Its Das? October 2nd.
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