Nacosta – Wilderness City (Ancient Conductor Records 2011, AC 001)

Nacosta are a psychedelic folk group from Los Angeles, and Wilderness City is their debut EP. They bill themselves as bridging “a gap between Nick Drake’s fingerpicked introspection and Sonic Youth’s in your face noise collages.” Hmm, don’t quite hear anything like that going on. Nonetheless, I do really like what I hear.

One thing is for certain, these guys can write a catchy tune. This is amply evident from the psychedelically explosive opening salvo of Take, a terrific rock tune with great harmonies and exceedingly enticing sonic textures. Things don’t let up after that, but they do mellow out with the trippy, 60ish sounding folk tune New Magick, featuring some very memorable and groovy melodies indeed. I really like these guys’ vocal harmonies. But don’t think it’s all pretty singing and folksy ditties. The next track, Blade of Grass takes us into some frightening sonic realms as it careens and swirls about with strange noises dripping like multi-colored rainfall from the acoustic guitar strings. It segues quite nicely into the haunting The Betrayal, a dreamy, march-like excursion into longing melodies fused with intriguing, multi-layered rhythms. Nacosta excel at creating these great folk pop tunes that are married to multidimensional stratums of auditory experience, whether the droning, hypnotic bleed of Treehouse or the colorful explosion of the tripped out closer Clear. Great stuff!

I kept wishing this was a full-length album. Wilderness City is a good, solid 22 minutes of music, but it leaves you begging for more. Good news is they have another EP on the way!

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Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald

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