Why Nap Eyes Rules by David Lander (2016)
The first time I interacted with Nigel Chapman, I didn’t actually meet him.
It was at Sappyfest 7 and it was also the first time I had heard of Nap Eyes. After impressing the 50 or so friends that crowded the front of the stage early in the afternoon (as well as me – largely in part for opening with the ballsy 20-minute version of “Delirium & Persecution Paranoia”), I kept seeing this tall, blonde haired, smiley guy around. He smiled at everyone, he said hello to everyone and he held the door for everyone — including me (two times). Nigel probably doesn’t remember that, and I’ve never told him about it but, in a lot of ways, this encounter sums up a lot of the special things about Nigel’s character – his kindness, warmth, openness and attentiveness to others.
Those descriptors, in many ways, also describe how I see Nigel’s music, songs and lyrics.
When they released 2014’s Whine of the Mystics, that tall, blonde haired, smiley guy, alongside Brad Loughead, Josh Salter and Seamus Dalton, became one of my favorite bands. While the content is often deeply personal and contemplative, Nigel’s lyrics feel universal, even when he is singing about stuff I have no experience with or context for – like his other job as a technician in a biochemistry lab at Dalhousie. Whether wordy or understated, he always seems to hit the mark for me.
Nap Eyes have been getting a little bit of hype lately but Nigel remains the same kind, warm, open and attentive guy who continues to write kind, warm, open and attentive music. The only difference is that now more people are starting to realize that he’s one of Canada’s best songwriters – something he’s been for quite some time.
I think I’ll leave it there and keep this one about Nigel. I mean, I could ramble on for hours about how the other three guys that make up Nap Eyes are some of my favorite musicians in Canada or how captivating their interplay with each other is when they play live together or how those 7-minute Nap Eyes epics feel like they pass by in about a minute – but I figure you will realize all that when you go see them.
Now, let’s all go get Nap Eyes tattoo’s so they are settled in time for the festival. Who else is in?
David Lander is the Administrative Director and a member of the programming committee with Kazoo! Fest.