Premiere: Chasing Kings, ‘Nice Guys’


Everybody aspires to be a “nice guy,” but if you’re a musician, it’s anathema to hear the phrase – the implication being that your personality outstrips your art or, worse, “nice” is merely artifice. So Chasing Kings prove as adept in the social graces as they are with their instruments. “Nice Guys,” the title track off the L.A. quartet’s forthcoming debut album, is a subtext-riddled anecdote about overhearing a band (who “sounded a bit like Best Coast”) practicing in their garage and then meeting them. That “Nice Guys” is catchy as a cold is no surprise, either. Chasing Kings arrived in 2009 with “The Current State of Our Future” EP as some of the most promising pop sophisticates on the landscape, with frontman Matt Schwartz’s big vocals presiding over intricate arrangements featuring guitarist Drew Beck’s biting licks, shape-shifting rhythms from bassist Mike Goldman and Nick Sandler and Schwartz’s own apoplectic piano-pounding. The album weaves together pop threads from sources as disparate as the Beach Boys, Wilco, Ben Folds and Spoon into a fabric all its own, and one with a sense of humor to boot. Nice, guys. No, really.

||| Download: “Nice Guys”

||| Live: Chasing Kings play the next four Mondays at the Satellite as part of their free January residency.