A Sea of Heroes, Part 8: Nickel Creek – Best of Luck

Okay, so with this one I seriously broke a sweat! Only when you've dialed in a cool tempo for the opening riff do you realize how impossibly fast you'll have to deliver the lyrics in the verses! Geeeezzz... But in the end I think I handled myself well enough...phew!

This is actually the song that introduced me to Nickel Creek. I vaguely remember seeing them perform this at a talk show – might've been Conan, I don't know – and being completely blown away by the performance and the song. I'd been dabbling with a few songs trying to create something like acoustic grunge and suddenly here was this band that did not only create that but took the whole thing way way further (and better places) than I'd dared dream of. I'm so bummed I can't find the video of that performance anywhere anymore. Anyway, the next thing I did was to get my hands on the album, and while I might've initially hoped for all the songs to be more in the vein of 'Best of Luck', that whole record, 'Why Should The Fire Die?', went beyond my expectations and completely blew me away. Such great delivery on all of the songs, really fresh and clever instrumentation and a whole world of sweet and sometimes unusual harmonies (like on this song). Basically, they'd done everything I wanted to do at that point with an acoustic sounding album, so I scrapped my own sessions and simply delighted in the fact that someone had just went and made the perfect album. And that's what it still is to me today: one of those really rare perfect albums where there's literally not one note I disagree with. Not too many of those knocking about. And yeah, not the biggest surprise that an album like that can only happen somewhere a bit further away from the mainstream. Not saying a mainstream album can't be perfect, but then again, I'm having trouble thinking of one right now.

I actually wanted to do 'Somebody More Like You' at first because it's got a really cool guitar part to accompany the vocals, but I wanted to do a trio version and although I did try, a band version of that song just doesn't make any sense. So one night I just started playing the opening riff to 'Best of Luck' but more like a dirty garage rock version of it and just thought maybe this'd be fun as a band version. The first version actually had some additional riffs, but it just became too much stuff so I started cutting things. The lyrics to the song are a bit obscure as to what exactly the situation is, although you get a lot of backstory, but in the end they're about a painful situation that the narrators (!) find themselves in. So me being me, I just couldn't stop myself adding some happy "lalalas" background vocals to the verses, just because I love that dichotomy that they add which just makes the story even more painful. There's an easy happy life for the couple to have away from each other, but they just seem to be unable to keep away simultaneously ruining both their lives. Okay, maybe I'm starting to overanalyze here, but I'm pretty sure some people will the lalalas...let's say surprising, so I just wanted to share the idea behind them.

Anyway, I hope again that you'll enjoy this latest addition to our Sea of Heroes!

-Jon

P.S. Here's the original

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