A track premiere, plus an essay on the merits of DIY recording by the artist himself.
Nik Freitas has always been on his own wavelength. The 41-year-old songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer has had a fruitful yet underrated career in myriad sects of the entertainment industry. In the early 2000s he worked as a photographer at Thrasher Magazine; a few years later he was a touring musician in acts like Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band and Broken Bells; and for the last decade he’s been scoring TV shows, movies and commercials for a living. However, throughout all of those creative ventures, Freitas has identified as a songwriter above all else.
On 1/31/20 he’ll release his ninth album under his own name, Cavalo Morto, via Park The Van. 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.
(Photo Credit: Jai Tanju)