Staff Pick: Nick D’ and the Believers work hard to make music sound effortless

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From the August 21, 2014 edition

In a January interview, pop-rock trio Nick D’ and the Believers, which will celebrate the arrival of its long-in-the-works Bang Bang EP with a release show at Ace of Cups on Saturday, Aug. 23, spoke of a fondness for Spoon’s minimalist tendencies.

“They really take everything down to the bone,” said singer/keyboardist Nick D’Andrea at the time. “That’s way harder than making a [song] where there are 50 things going on at once.”

Judging by the title track off its latest, the crew has embraced this less-is-more philosophy. “Bang Bang” is both lean and infectious, building around unfussy drums, warm smears of synthesizer and D’Andrea’s crisp, inviting vocals. According to the musicians, it takes a good deal of work to make songs sound this effortless (“We pile everything we can on [a track] and then strip it back down,” they said), which explains, in part, why an album they hoped to release in April is just now breaking the surface. Fortunately for all, it sounds like it was worth the wait.

Way Yes and Modern Electric also perform.