Melbourne-based Nick Verwey has been crafting solo and collaborative cuts for the best part of a decade on labels like Houseworx and Enjoyment Division. He operates in a world where danceable grooves are paired with laid-back moods. His lo-fi sound is both sunlit and sunset-ready and is for grown-up crowds who like to get down on rooftops, sandy enclaves, or laidback living rooms. This new album, however, he describes as "pubwave" and was conveyed during lockdown when Nick and his friends were missing their favourite communal drinking spots.
"My friends and I were missing the pub, missing dance floors, missing being able to hang out and have fun," he says before explaining that, at the time, he was listening to a lot of 90s and 00s downtempo chill out by the likes of Heights of Abraham, Pork Recordings, Baby Mammoth and Bullitnuts. He came up with the idea of creating something similar but in his own way, initially with spoken word poetry from his friend over the top, though when it came to recording that never quite worked so it was shelved until later when Nick?tried again without the vocals. "The whole project has been more than years in the making. I'm super proud of the end result. I think it still nails the dreamy, Balearic "pubwave" vibe and comes with a gorgeous cover painting by my mate Holly Hunt. It's an old English haunt called the Old Neptune, and what nails the brief more than a pub that is literally on the beach?"
The title track is a welcome opening with leggy breaks and soft shakers encouraging you to sway while gazing up at the melodic stars before 'Foam Party' gets more zoned out with its vaporous chords and gentle drum tumbles. 'Journey Through The Schoonerverse' is a suspensory trip to the clouds with effortlessly loose breaks and painterly synth smears, 'Wonky Friends' has a more weighty but still dubbed out and slow motion house kick and 'Kneverending Knockoffs' keeps the energy rising with raw percussion and acidic twitches that journey through a heat haze on a warm afternoon. Closer 'Backyard Paradiso' is the horizontal finish that washes over you like rays of sun and gently breaking waves to leave you relaxed from head to toe and digital bonus 'Hard Earned Thirst' is an extra chance to luxuriate in Dawn Again's richly layered synths and leisurely breaks.
The superbly welcoming Every Dog's Hotel is a place to pull up, sink a drink, and soak into some lavish and escapist downtempo sounds.?
A1. Every Dog’s Hotel
A2. Foam Party
A3. Journey Through The Schoonerverse
B1. Wonky Friendz
B2. Kneverending Knockoffs
B3. Backyard Paradiso