In the first 22 seconds of his new power-pop nugget “Anyone Listening,” Nik Freitas articulates the recurring frustration of just about every songwriter we know: “I opened my mouth up to say how I felt / but all I heard was everyone else / talking about photos of themselves / the louder they get then more they need help.” Indeed, as anybody not backed by Marshall stacks or overdriven synths will testify, it’s an uphill battle getting an audience to sacrifice a few minutes of themselves to the music. Freitas is a tryer, though. His new album “New to Here,”, a genial, sharp collection of thirtysomething observations, is his ninth, self-recorded and quietly self-relased last month. The Visalia native’s lineage belies his status as a DIY-er; he released two previous albums on Conor Oberst’s Team Love imprint, played as part of the Mystic Valley Band on Oberst’s 2008 and ’09 albums and has credits with the Shins, Azure Ray and (Rilo Kiley’s) Jason Boesel. Informed in part by his new fatherhood, the new album’s Everyman folk-pop can be exceedingly tender (“Following the Heart”) or endearingly humorous (his ode to quitting smoking, “Goodbye, Sweet Leaf”). Freitas’ songcraft remains a hidden treasure … for anyone listening.
||| Stream: “Anyone Listening” and “Goodbye, Sweat Leaf”
||| Previously: “Saturday Night Underwater”
||| Live: Nik Freitas plays June 25 at All-Star Lanes in Eagle Rock and July 28 at Harvard & Stone.