ALBUM REVIEW: nothing,nowhere. – One Takes, Vol. 1

Release Date: July 10th 2020
Label: Fueled By Ramen/DCD2


Taking a deep look at his own back catalogue, nothing,nowhere. has been re-working some of his most well known tracks live and in just one take over the past few months, sharing a different side to each cut.

Collating these, the aptly titled ‘One Takes, Vol. 1’ sees them all together, ranging from reimaginings of singles and the lesser known and more hidden gems. By dropping the tempo to many of his tracks as well as removing multiple layers, nothing,nowhere. reveals the earnest lyricism and weaving hooks that lay underneath.

Opening with more exposed takes of ‘Hammer’ and ‘Rejecter’, from the get go nothing,nowhere.t ackles arguably one of his most well known tracks and one of his most recent. With the former being stripped of its layers to reveal the stark lyricism of its verses as well as reinforce its melodically rich chorus, it becomes apparent that the record isn’t a half-baked concept.

With many acoustic renditions relying on intimacy to do the heavy lifting, ‘Wooden House’ works on tension, building on tightly wound vocal melodies to deliver an explosive and heartfelt chorus. Engrossing and raw, the track may be from an early project, but its inclusion on the record proves that it deserves to sit alongside his more regular body of work. The same can be said for ‘Ornament’; a cut that’s originally experimental and pulsing, the floating piano and restrained vocal performance elevates the hidden gem.

Whilst fan favourites are included, with ‘Letdown’ and ‘Clarity In Kerosene’ both morphing into haunting and intimate renditions, the release ultimately benefits from the eclectic choices. As the second half of the record proves, with ‘True Love’ from ‘Bloodlust’ sitting next to the raw ‘Nevermore’, nothing,nowhere. delivers an uncompromising journey throughout his career.

Winding the record down, new track ‘Cherry Red’ gives a glimpse at what to expect from future releases, brimming with multi-layered harmonies and sparse melodies, the song sits next to early single ‘Twenty Something’, yet neither of the two seem out of place. Closing things with ‘Death’ and a cover of ‘Never Meant’ by American Football, both tracks turn into delicate and restrained versions of themselves.

Taking a measured and passionate approach, nothing,nowhere. has managed to create a record that celebrates his work so far. ‘One Takes, Vol. 1’ not only delivers re-imagined tracks that his existing fanbase will appreciate, but also serves as a platform for a new audience to discover nothing,nowhere. as they likely have never heard him before.