Original Writeup

Nick Cove and the Wandering – “Glass Houses”

by wpengine

‘Glass Houses’ is a journey of a track, and this live session really brings out the best in all of them in what is a spellbinding dosage of folk-rock with many intertwined sensibilities that make for a must watch and listen.

Nick Cove & The Wandering are an experimental dark-folk four-piece who take their inspirations from bands like Manchester Orchestra and The Toadies, and form their own branch of alternative rock. The brainchild of Cove, they released their debut album ‘Harbinger’ in the pandemic-stricken year of 2020 and began this year in similar fashion, filming and recording an exclusive batch of songs for The Kaleidoscope with lead single ‘Glass Houses’ pioneering their epic live performance. 

The gentle vocals lyricism from Cove sets a delicate tone for the beginning of the track in this brilliant studio setting, with the band easing themselves in with some rhythmic piano and drums before the darker side of the outfit comes out. The clashing chords in the pre-chorus climax to Nick first of all singing the chorus on his own with his grunge-filled guitar, before the full band enters in an impressive manner.

The instrumentation is to be admired from Nick Cove & The Wandering, as they showcase their dynamics fruitfully throughout ‘Glass Houses’, with so many moments to draw back to upon each listen. The band’s chemistry is there for all to see and hear in this live session, especially in the crescendo ending where Cove and Mancinelli let it all out in a thunderous scream that almost enters into heavy rock territory. 

It feels like The National in parts instrumentally, with Cove’s embedded and adventurous writing taking the song to many different places throughout. ‘Glass Houses’ is a journey of a track, and this live session really brings out the best in all of them in what is a spellbinding dosage of folk-rock with many intertwined sensibilities that make for a must watch and listen.



How did it feel bringing ‘Glass Houses’ to a live session environment?

It felt really natural! Since we have been playing this song for the last good handful of years, it feels ingrained in our bones. But this version is a step up from the original recorded version, so we really wanted people to be up to speed with where we were at.

Did you enjoy the experience?

We all loved it. I was feeling self conscious that day because it had all hit me that I was playing with a new rig I’ve never played live with and that put me in a real anxious state of mind. In the end, the session went off without a hitch.

What is ‘Glass Houses’ about essentially?

The song is about doing the same thing over and over again and continually asking, “why is nothing changing?” I guess it really boils down to the fear of change. I think, sometimes, we get stuck in what we are comfortable with and do everything we can to not leave that safety if we are not used to the feeling of change. I know I definitely had to come to grips with that.

How was the song written and formed with the band?

I wrote the song in 2016 when I wanted the project to have more singer songwriter vibes. You can really hear it in the original version off of ‘Harbinger’. After it was all said and done, I still felt it needed more spunk behind it, but didn’t really have the right words. Eventually, as the band solidified and our sound started to change, that aspect became apparent and was easier for me to express to my band mates. After that, every song started to take on a different life. I think they

just needed to marinate some more haha.

Do you feel like recording these previously released songs at The Kaleidoscope has showcased your journey as a band?

Absolutely. Jon Smith and Ben Roth really knew what we were after and were able to catch it perfectly. This is the true and most current version. Not that it wasn’t true before, but in hindsight, I just wasn’t done digging yet to see what this project was going to be about.

Who are your biggest influences? Each member please!

Joe: – Thrice

Got into them when they released Illusion of Safety, I was in middle school and that was the very first album I was ever given (on a burned CD from a friend.. sorry Thrice!)

– Porter Robinson

His Worlds album was a key entry point into electronic music for me, I absolutely obsessed over that album.

– Jacob Collier

Jacob has so much great media – albums, music videos, lessons, production breakdown videos – and every bit of it underscores the joy of the creative process. His music is not just amazing to listen to, but it also inspires me to want to write and create my own music

Nick: – Soundgarden/Chris Cornell

I can’t properly express how much influence Soundgarden and Chris have had on me. Everything from the music to the imagery to their personal values speaks to me on such a deep level.

– Green Day

Green Day was the first band I obsessed over when I was in middle school. ‘American Idiot’ has just come out and I had no idea music could sound like that. I wanted to play a Les Paul Jr. for the longest time.

Manchester Orchestra/Andy Hull

MO’s ‘Mean Everything To Nothing’ got me through a really tough time in my life. Their storytelling and songsmithing is top tier. 

Trevor: Neil Peart- the reason I play drums. It was less so his obvious skill at just playing than it was the way he crafted drum parts as complete as the songs themselves. He had a tremendous attention to detail and wrote the hell out of his parts. 

Matt Cameron- he’s more powerful than half the punk rockers out there and smarter than half the prog guys. 

Todd Sucherman- he’s just one of the best to ever do it. He plays with a smoothness that can’t be beat, which allows him to play anything and make it sound completely natural.

John: Paul McCartney/The Beatles – One of the first bands I actively listened to as a kid, but as I grew as a musician I learned and absorbed more and more from their music as musicians and songwriters

Mike Durnt – The reason I ever picked up a bass. I thought he was a badass and Green Day bass lines were some of the first ones I ever learned. It’s really shaped how I approach writing bass lines myself.

Eric Keen – Bassist of the Menzingers – had some of the gnarliest bass lines, especially in

earlier records. I learned through his takes that bass lines in pop / punk music could be a little more atypical and harmonic and pull away from the root.

Andy Hull – just an overall incredible lyricist and songwriter. Always trying to reach a level where songs that I’m writing have similarities to Manchester Orchestra

And lastly, what are your plans for the year ahead?

We are in the writing trenches at the moment! We are also hitting the studio regularly to record the new songs when we feel they are ready. So, be on the lookout for a new tune coming out later this year. It will be sure to blow your pants off.

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