Album review: Nik Freitas - Saturday Night Underwater

Middle-of-the-road tuneful singer-songwriter fare from Freitas, who allies analog bleeps with traditional instruments to sometimes charming effect.

Having played in Conor ‘Bright Eyes’ Oberst’s Mystic Valley Band and formed part of Broken Bells’ touring band, Freitas’ fifth album finds him marshalling the oft uneasy bedfellows of acoustic guitar and analog synth.

In fact, SNU splices Brendan Benson’s vocals and songwriting style with American alt-heroes Grandaddy’s penchant for Playschool bleepery.

This has its moments, such as Middle’s heart-on-sleeve regret, downcast piano and waves of backing vocal.

The title track, too, slopes along in a psychedelic haze of electronic organ and guitar, backed with the quaintly romantic imagery: ‘Someone pulled a page out of me, been reading through each line, now I know where I should be’.

But Freitas doesn’t quite nail it, left searching for a knockout combination. A solid effort regardless.

3 stars