Track By Track: nyck on their journey of their debut EP Alive
Melbourne duo nyck's minimalistic pop is poignant and heartfelt. Their singles "Decision" and "Speak My Mind" already speak volumes, but it's here on their debut EP Alive that the vision of the project really comes into focus and, as the band explain, can be seen as a journey.
Written approximately a year ago, over 12 weeks in the Australian Winter, Nick Acquroff's lyrics document heartbreak with a raw and unparrelled accuracy. Paired with musical partner Dominque Garrard's harmonies, the two fleshed out Acquroff's rough sketches to create the honest, minalmistic sound we hear today on the EP.
Minimalism and the unpolished nature of their work is key to how instantly relatable tracks like "Speak Your Mind" are and will be for first time listeners, but there's a subtle complexity to every part of nyck's repetoire that elevates the pair to more be more than just a couple of singer-songwriters making beautiful music. Take the ending of "Resident", for example, during which we hear just a small part of their creative process, unfiltered, or the introduction of "Summer Inside" - heartbreaking in a whole other sense of the word. The huge "This Might Be My Year" is a clear standout and shows not only the scope of nyck, but also the unrelenting potetial of Aquroff and Garrard together.
Speak My Mind It’s really easy to waste years of your life wanting to say something but not; to spend years in a job or a relationship that has so much grey area that you don’t know what you want anymore. You get stuck for ages in that paralysis; that idea that you can’t put yourself above other people, that telling someone the truth is less important than maintaining the status quo, that you’ll lie forever just to keep someone you love more than yourself happy. "Speak My Mind" is the start to our EP, and the breakdown of that idea that other people’s happiness should come before your own, or that anything other than honesty will ever make you happy.
Decision Once you realise that telling the truth to someone, or anyone, is the only way you can move forward in your life, then you’ve got to make the decision as to when. In my case it wasn’t black and white. It’s obvious what the song is about, but it wasn’t just my decision. It was mutual. It was one sided. It was good. It was bad. We were in love. We weren’t. That’s how life is. There’s no definitive answer to anything, but in making the decision, we were able to finally feel that sense of ending wash over us. It was cathartic and close.
Resident After the decision is made you have to live with it. For me, it was living in Saint Kilda in the middle of winter in a house with my best mate, and it was grim. It was also interesting and fun and alive. For a minute there I spent all my time thinking about how at my age, things hadn’t panned out the way I’d hoped them to at all. Over the next few months, I had to unravel that idea of how I’d always hoped to be; married, kids, et cetera, and set new expectations on myself. It’s funny how when you remove the expectation of what your future is supposed to look like things get better so quickly. It was just that at this stage, in Saint Kilda in the middle of winter, fresh off a break-up, I didn’t know any of that yet.
This Might Be My Year After long enough, when the things you had as your foundations change, or you feel a little lost, you get this sense of resolve. For me it was after a conversation I had with someone really close. It killed my anxiety because I knew we’d both be okay. I had a massive night and woke up without hating myself. I was fine, in clothes from the night before, at the beginning of a Melbourne summer, and things were looking up. That’s what "This Might Be My Year" is about. It’s a resolution, but not in a sense that we’re going to get famous or make heaps of money, just in a sense that things are going to be okay.
Summer Inside The final song on our EP is an outlier. I put my phone on record when my grandma was in hospital, drugged up and half dead, and she was saying the most incredibly lucid things. She was just speaking to herself, really, these amazing insights on her life. I’d been really anxious for a while and spent much of the summer inside trying to keep my mind off it. I realised that day that I'd been missing out on things with my friends because I hadn’t been open with them.
Article via The Line of Best Fit