Nurses are bringing their blend of blissed-out psychedelic pop to Café du Nord in celebration of the release of their new album, Dracula (Dead Oceans). This a show for fans of low-fidelity recordings, jacked-up dance beats, hooky pop and Prince.
Nurses, a trio based in Portland, took themselves to a cabin on the cold and unforgiving Oregon coast in early winter to record Dracula, a process much different from their previous release, which was recorded into a laptop in an attic in Idaho. They were looking for isolation, to be free from distraction and influence and for a platform to freely explore their new-found adoration for the artist currently known as Prince.
Now, I like Prince and I understand his influence and his importance in popular music today. But I grew up during his heyday and the aftereffects thereof, and I am more than flooded with the man. If I never hear “Let’s Go Crazy” again, it will be too soon. However, I am all for the awakenings of others. The man is one of the greatest proponents of the undeniable hook, the irrefutable pop melody and the criminally catchy chorus. I can see Nurses heading in this direction with Dracula. Whereas before they were more centered around the crafting of the track and the subtlety within the movements, now their statements are bold, progressive and over-stated.
Their focus is on rhythm, hook and captivation. Songs like “Fever Dreams,” “You Lookin Twice” and “Trying To Reach You” display this boldness, discovered through the collaborative process between the trio (Aaron Chapman, James Mitchell and John Bowers), where they all acted as producers, stacking ideas until songs were formed.
There are times when Chapman’s vocals are reminiscent of Dave Davison from Maps and Atlases, and some tracks flow in and out of Frog Eyes territory, so there is certainly peer influence to go alongside the 80s impact, but overall Dracula displays a band in flux, an evolution of process and presentation. And this is the direction any and every band should be headed in, onwards and upwards, pop-wards and Prince-wards, keeping your eyes wide and your ears open.
Nurses play Tuesday, September 27th at Café du Nord. Dominant Legs headline and The She’s open. Doors are at 8pm, tickets are $12 at the door and the show is 21+.