Paul Nourigat’s New Demo “Bad Cannot Be Good”

On the back of a blistering, slightly overdriven guitar melody, the islander’s ear-candy that is Paul Nourigat’s new demo, “Bad Cannot Be Good,” starts to unfurl its centerpiece groove. With an ease that would make any nine-to-fiver green with envy, Nourigat himself begins to sing, his words – and the tone in which they’re sung to us – echoing the energy of the instrumentation flawlessly. Before we know it, we’re off on a pleasure cruise of gentle percussion, happy harmonization, and slow-rolling rhythm that will only grow more attractive as the music plays on. “Bad Cannot Be Good” is indeed as dreamy as its title would imply, and much like the other pair of demos this artist has issued, it’s a must-listen for indie fans in the mood for something fresh and original this year.

Paul Nourigat’s new LP Complex Truths is going to debut later this year, and with this being the first demo from its tracklist, it’s easy to see where his fans are going to be pretty excited from what “Natural Stupidity” has to say about is parent album. Right off the bat, I think there’s more of a guitar-focused attack in play here that draws our attention toward the instrumental fabric more than the lyrics. The verses are designed to complement the tone of the melody instead of the other way around, and they serve the song quite well in this capacity. Some artists are more than content to use familiar compositional patterns when creating new music, but others – like Nourigat – simply can’t work with recycled, unexciting concepts in their material.


The beats in “These Old People” are at the foundation of almost every powerful turning point in the track, and I don’t think it would be nearly as engaging a number without their potency. Almost every component in the guiding harmony leading into the chorus has a textured presence, but more often than not, it’s the drums that keep us on the edge of our seats as we follow the ebb and flow of the group. There’s never a moment in which Paul Nourigat’s vocal plays second fiddle to the other parts in the song, but at the same time, the spotlight is spread out across all of the players in his backing band rather excellently.

All three tracks come to a conclusion with a few fewer sonic fireworks than they initially start us off with, but while it crosses the finish line rather peacefully, the cratering effect of this player’s presence isn’t one listeners will soon forget after experiencing it for the first time. I was only somewhat familiar with Paul Nourigat coming into this review of his latest demo but I am planning on following his upcoming work now. He’s flexing some serious songwriting muscle in all three of these intriguing new tracks, and if this is only the tip of the iceberg with regards to the new album Complex Truths, his is one 2022 record I will not be missing out on for anything.

Michael Rand 

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