Nick Jaina – A Bird in the Opera House

Nick Jaina - A Bird in the Opera House

Finding the right words to describe Nick Jaina‘s latest album, A Bird in the Opera House, has proved troublesome because I find myself in awe of the quiet beauty these songs exude. Each stab at the keyboard feels not good enough, surely not representative, and lacking in any amount of justice such a collection deserves. You don’t want to overflow with hyperbole, but you do want to let others know just how wonderful an album is. Simply stating an album is worth your time and money just isn’t enough, is it?

I’ve been seeing Nick Jaina perform every time he swings through Philly for a few years now. Whether alone or with a full band, plugged in or not, his shows always hold something new and unexpected. Each album has been the same in this respect, whether revolving around a central theme or style you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the nuances of Jaina’s songwriting. While on the surface many of the songs seem to fit standard faces and places themes, dig a little deeper and there is nicely layered wordplay.

Of the twelve tracks on A Bird in the Opera House, there are plenty to keep you coming back for more. “Sebastopol” is a jangly pop song that leaves sweet, salt air lingering in my nostrils. Not that there’s an oceanic theme here, that’s just the bit of nostalgia the creeps into my mind while listening to this tune. “Sleep Child” is perhaps the best example of studio recording gone right. Jaina has tried various recording techniques (such as playing with a band and recording live), but on A Bird in the Opera House he tested out a more current approach. When your songs are this gorgeous and full of lines like “if wine is blood, this bar is the abattoir, we have slaughtered every night of our lives” a composed-style studio album can still sound lush and organic. The shimmering “Strawberry Man” gives a nod to Nick Jaina’s more earthy, folk roots while keeping the layers of the band apparent. Although I’ve certainly enjoyed Jaina’s solo moments I certainly enjoy the effect of a full band on his music.

Nick Jaina’s music hits the spot every time. A Bird in the Opera House will certainly leave fans of subdued pop waiting for more. Lucky for us, Jaina regularly releases albums and does a ton of touring. Check out “Sleep Child” below – if you enjoy it, don’t hesitate to seek out more. He’s just that good.

Listen to “Sleep Child”:

Hush Records