Nick Waterhouse is no fool. Quite the opposite, in fact.
The California singer-songwriter is easily one of the smartest people I’ve had the pleasure to interview lately. In fact, I’m pretty sure he’s the first musician I’ve talked to who peppered his conversation with phrases like “Joycean epiphanies” and “gambler’s fallacy.” Even better: He was gracious enough not to make me feel like the board-certified doofus I am when we chatted about his fantastic new album The Fooler. Like his previous releases, it inhabits a vintage stylistic and sonic netherworld rooted in classic R&B, jazz and soul. But it’s also his most ambitious work yet; a loose concept album / song cycle about love and loss, regret and yearning, memory and the tricks we play on each other — and ourselves. Over a pot of tea, Waterhouse and I talked about The Fooler, working with a producer for the first time, his retro ways and whether or not Billy Childish texts. Enjoy.