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“First week here”

Self released
About two years into its existence, the humble seventh known simply as Nancy has made a deafening debut EP. There are certainly easy comparisons to The Saplings, another fresh faced band with multiple Eastman alums that compliment energetic pop music with a lively horn section.

But Nancy’s “First Week Here” is shaped by a penchant for exploratory jazz music. Under the direction of keyboardist Sam Caldwell, the band meanders through alternating modal harmonies that give the listener a feeling that is disoriented but completely captivating. Although Caldwell and bassist Rafael Enciso split up composing duties, the yield is coherent.

Drummer Ben Combs’ restrained trip-hop sensibility and Caldwell’s straightforward, gentle pop vocal melodies root the music in a tactile groove that harmonizes well with the unconnected reverie of the horns. Since Eugene Bisdikian does the mix and most of the tech, the EP has a high fidelity sound that has subtle moments of haze in the right places. Lyrically, the songs navigate through the rocky terrain of youthful romance, with all the telltale signs of infatuation, distrust and lust.

“First Week Here” is an excellent four-song calling card for a band that appears to have a place in future Rochester jazz festivals. It is a thought. What do you think john nugent

Daniel J. Kushner is the music editor of CITY. He can be reached at

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