Release Date: March 11th, 2016
Label: Caldo Verde
It has been interesting over the past few years to see the dubious reputation of “yacht rock” get a dose of credibility in Canada, thanks to bands such as Destroyer. Arguably, Nick Zubeck should take some credit too considering the inspired arrangements on a few of the tracks on his latest album, ‘Sky Diving’.
“Hunting in Heaven”, for example, has a jazz-like airiness, with its shuffle beat and lounge piano. Zubeck also allows his voice to go flat on occasion, lending an intriguing atonal quality. “Transistor Moon” is also jazz-tinged, with saxophone playing a central role. The song also takes on a sonorous downbeat at about the mid-point mark. In different a vein, “Devil’s Tide” has a much more earthy, folksy feel. Slightly distorted reverb guitar nicely complements Zubeck’s honestly delivered vocals.
However, for every “Devil’s Tide” on ‘Sky Diving’ there’s a clunker like “Tin Man”. The songs of the latter variety are marred by dull predictability and tend to be insipid. They stand as irksome reminders of why the term “yacht rock” was created as a pejorative in the first place.