Nick Waterhouse grew up in a coastal town near Long Beach, CA. It was a serene setting: the
ocean stretching out for miles to the North and South, manicured lawns, two-story homes, long
swathes of concrete highway, fast food chains and mega malls. He was there for two decades.
Then, he left.
He found a home in his early 20s in San Francisco, working at record stores alongside a
collective of like minded young crate-diggers and 45 collectors. And then he started making his
own records: “Time’s All Gone” in 2012, “Holly” in 2014, “Never Twice” in 2016, “Nick
Waterhouse” in 2019. These were evocative albums, steeped in a perfectionism and clarity of
vision that informed every choice, from the studios to the players, the arrangements to the
album art. Everything, deliberately designed and purposeful, bubbling over with power and
feeling. And as those records rolled out into the world, Waterhouse found a dedicated audience
of his own as well as a bevy of influential champions and collaborators, including garage-rock
mystic Ty Segall, retro-futurist R&B bandleader Leon Bridges and the LA-based quartet
Allah-Las, whose first two albums he meticulously produced and played on. There is a
“Waterhouse Sound'' and it comes from both the man and the method — recording everything
on magnet- ic tape, through analog equipment, and playing live (!), eyeball to eyeball, whenever
Now, he’s finished his fifth album. Nick Waterhouse takes the color blue as his hue of choice as
he takes a spiritual look to the past on new album, ‘Promenade Blue’ due out April 9 on
The new collection sparkles beatifically, reverberating with energy, heart, creativity, and vibe
from start to finish. Nowhere is this more evident than on the album’s opening track, “Place
Names,” bringing teenaged memories to the forefront, pondering the pride he takes in his
hometown and the distinct life that he has made (or that has made him). A soulful, sweeping
arrangement punctuated with Girl Group backing vocals, “Place Names” which would find itself
at home in a vibrant New Orlean’s club or alongside contemporaries Marlon Williams and The
The world of Promenade Blue represents rebirth and reinvigoration as well as a clarity of
purpose. It is vivid and magnetic, buoyed by both light and density due to Nick’s newfound
collaboration with co-producer Paul Butler (Michael Kiwanuka, Devendra Banhart). It’s not
Gatsby’s New York in the 1920s, it’s Waterhouse’s California in the 2020s.
The immediate and unprecedented underground dance party success of Nick’s DIY record resulted in a full band, gigs, and, after a number of obstacles, the widely acclaimed 2012 LP Time’s All Gone. Nick’s music, vision, and fully formed aesthetic caught on globally and he was instantly a fixture at nearly every major nightclub and festival on both sides of the Atlantic, Australia, Japan, and Russia – hitting stages everywhere from Primavera to Montreux Jazz Festival and charting on college, public, and commercial radio.
Only a year after self-releasing his first single, Nick Waterhouse was thrust into the chaos of leading a band, touring, and recording in the big leagues! Pummeling high speed down a bumpy hill of lineup changes, economic problems, and general chaos without any breaks, Nick made it through and the challenges made him more focused. 2014’s Holly captured a more experienced artist upping the ante in writing, performance, recording, and production, inspiring a new level of critical and commercial success.
In addition to a jam-packed five years on the road, in the studio, and in the practice space, Waterhouse also produced septuagenarian soul legend Ural Thomas, Los Angeles Latin stars the Boogaloo Assassins, and garage rockers the Allah-las. He’s currently collaborating with the likes of young Grammy-nominee Leon Bridges and Steven Colbert bandleader Jon Batiste. The Rolling Stones blast Nick’s version of “I Can Only Give You Everything” at stadiums before they go onstage. Vogue hired him to pose with Kendall Jenner. He hipped her to Little Willie John while Anna Wintour complimented his shoes. While a lesser artist would get lost in these distractions, Nick Waterhouse’s acclaim only seems to energize him and make him work harder and push his music to the next level.
Nick’s latest Never Twice is a culmination, intensification, and realization of everything he’s been developing throughout this prolific frenzy. Catchier and loaded with more hits than its predecessors, Nick’s new LP is at the same time harder hitting, more rhythmic, more harmonic, more diverse, and more adventurous than any of the excellent work that already separated him from the pack. A cool and elegant post-post-modern cocktail of 1950s r&b and club jazz, mixed with 1960s soul and boogaloo, and shaken with a minimal contemporary sensibility, Never Twice finds the artist taking his time, refining his vision, and speaking with new authority. In five short years Nick Waterhouse has come a long way and it looks like he may have just painted his masterpiece.