January 31, 2020
Out now: Nik Freitas’ delightful new album, Cavalo Morto. The title means “dead horse” in Portuguese and the album’s gloomy cover art depicts a weathered pianist chugging along at his craft while horses fall from the top of the instrument. It’s a reference to the inescapable mundanity of being a professional artist, a glamorized yet often underappreciated vocation that can wear on a person’s soul if they do it long enough. Although the dead horse is sort of a metaphor for Freitas’ lifelong struggle to be heralded for his own art, there’s a healthy dose of irony in that sentiment. Cavalo Morto is an invigorating set of songs that conflate the classic pop songwriting of Dylan, Bowie, and Elliott Smith with Freitas’ own hermetic twist.
Stream it everywhere or buy it on vinyl from Park the Van.
I’ve been a fan of Nik Freitas’ killer songwriting instincts for a long time – ‘Sherri’s Life’ and ‘Flowers’ are my new favorite songs of the year.M. Ward
So many reasons why I’m a fan of Nik Freitas: He’s from my strange part of California, he rides a skateboard, he records his own records, he writes really good songs, his voice is nice, and he’s kinda grumpy like me but can’t help but let the nostalgia and sentimentality and joy flow into his music. Cavalo Morto is Nik continuing with that flow.Jason Lytle
I have thought a lot of things about Nik Freitas over the years but what I keep coming back to is how can one guy have written so many perfect pop songs. I love his melodies, his words, his sensibilities when it comes to guitar playing and production. He is what I would call a total package. This new record is no different. It’s full of beautiful, memorable songs that I know I will keep coming back to over and over. He is also an okay skater. Heard he can’t really land a kickflip these days but that’s all right.Conor Oberst