Release Date: Mar 27, 2020
Record label: Jagjaguwar
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock
Evolution and epiphany are at the front of Nigel Chapman’s mind on Snapshot of a Beginner. The growth is indeterminate and the visions are fleeting. “I’m so tired, of trying to recreate...Though I feel inspired, then a moment later find I’ve been too late,” he confesses on the opening wind-up “So Tired.” The album, though, is an unequivocal step forward for Nap Eyes. The Halifax, Nova Scotia, four-piece have made minor adaptations with each of their three prior albums, but Snapshot of a Beginner fully delivers on the Maritime pastoral sound they’ve innately promised for years, and credit is due all around.
Like a rummage sale of disconnected observations and sudden enlightenments, a Nap Eyes album offers a surprisingly candid glimpse into a stranger's mind. Working from loose stream-of-consciousness freewriting sessions, singer, guitarist, and songwriter Nigel Chapman creates a sort of Mind Palace open house around which bandmates Brad Loughead (guitar), Josh Salter (bass), and Seamus Dalton (drums) build an infrastructure of jangling guitar pop that occasionally rollicks, but mostly chugs along in an easygoing midtempo manner. The Nova Scotian band's first decade concluded with a trilogy of strong albums that firmly established their distinctive sound and straightforward live-to-tape recording approach.