Lush echoes of Bon Iver run throughout this paean to loss, though lead singer Derek Long’s voice feels like a more robust instrument than Justin Vernon’s, and has a raspier edge when it catches and glitches (and it does that in all the right places). At times, there are twangs of Ed Harcourt’s vocal delivery, too.
‘Heavenly’ is an adjective that I badly want to use for Nice to Know. But this is a muscular, confident version of ‘heavenly’. The song incorporates programmed rhythm and bass parts melded with choir to make something truly transcendent – in the way that the very organic juxtaposed with the very mechanical often does. It features an impassioned lead vocal which transitions between tastefully-wracked emotion and pure, pure falsetto with skillful, silky ease.
In fact, a massive shout-out must go to the entire vocal arrangement: there are some serpentine, elusive lines weaving in and out and around a rich, beautifully-mixed choir of voices that you’ll be immediately wowed by. The vocals don’t just emote either – they’re so sonically amazing!
There’s an electro heartbeat chugging underneath all the (beautifully-produced) lushness, an intricate push and pull to the rhythm that really draws the listener in. You’ll want to re-visit Nice to Know. It’s top and tailed by what sounds like a tape cassette being put on and rewound – it’s a fabulous nod to the nostalgia factor attributed to loss.