Soft Connections

Soft Connections

Once making records as Catwalk, California popster Nic Hessler was sidelined for four years with a rare autoimmune disorder that prevented him from playing guitar and left him partially paralyzed. Healthy and determined at age 23, Hessler comes out fighting at the gate with charged harmonies and an earnest pop sound that’s drawn comparisons to Emitt Rhodes, XTC, Alex Chilton, and The Kinks. “I Feel Again,” “Expel Me,” and “Permanent” surely capture a youthful energy that shows signs of vintage pop and modern ambition. His best work here isn’t afraid to indulge in retro stylings. “Do You Ever?” sounds like a recently rescued track inspired by bossa nova.

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