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Caleb Nichols Shares Video For Single “Ramon” Taken From Forthcoming Album, out 24th June on Kill Rock Stars

April 28, 2022
Photo credit: Deborah Denker

Caleb Nichols
shares video for new single “Ramon”

Album, Ramon
out 24th June on Kill Rock Stars

Caleb Nichols shares the video for the title track of the new album Ramon due out June 24th 2022 on Kill Rock Stars.  Available now to pre-order

In their debut solo album, Ramon, Nichols tells the tragic story of Mean Mr Mustard as a queer icon, using theatrical lyrics to paint vignettes of white rabbit adventures and social pressures all within a DIY ethos. “You learn early on that no one is going to do it for you, or that what you are wanting to see or hear doesn’t exist, so you need to do it yourself with your friends.” 

Ramon dazzles, this poignant ambiance emerges with the shimmering notes picked on the guitar, and the delicate atmosphere conveys this immersive intimacy. Resonating from the gentle tonality to the softer vocal melodies, guiding that affection with the harmonies and lyrical course. At just 2 minutes 40, Caleb Nichols captivates the listener as they embrace the fragility of this harrowing journey. The journey feels like a longer voyage, as the vibe alters the audience’s mood. A meaningful composition backed with intricate hooks.

In the video, we see Ramon, a ghostly presence in a dark and empty-feeling house, interpret grief, pain, and a sense of loss through a striking choreographed dance sequence that cuts between the interiors of the house and a studio. Halfway through, the action cuts to Jerome, who seems to be in a hurry to grab his things and go. As he moves through the house, he’s haunted by Ramon— a presence Jerome just can’t seem to shake.

Ramon sets the stage for a queer love story that explores the origins of iconic Beatles character Mean Mr. Mustard. Nichols’ song and accompanying film constitutes a queer interpretation of the Beatles song that adds new depth and meaning to what John Lennon once referred to as “a bit of crap I wrote in India.” It just goes to show that one person’s trash is another’s treasure.

The “Ramon” film is part one in a two-part narrative arc that tells part of the story at the center of Nichols’ rock opera. Part two, “Jerome”, drops in May.

Each track of the album is a three to four minute romp inside a specific emotion, playing out theatrical puzzle pieces that build on each other’s sounds. There’s so much to be said about the perfectly fuzzed strings and how they fit seamlessly into powerfully catchy lyrics, versatile and relevant percussion. Their work touches on sounds that might feel homey to those of us who have been listening to the likes of Kill Rock Stars’ Elliott Smith, bounces distinctly off of the 1960’s technicolor daisy of the British Invasion and matures into Nichols’ specific artistry. It’s intricate, cathartic work made by and for the people who need it. A childhood Beatles fascination grows well next to the sounds of the golden state, weaving vivid guitar into operatic commentary veiled in a true California partly-cloudy forecast.  

Caleb Nichols is a musician, writer, poet and librarian from California, Since the early 2000’s Caleb has played in a variety of bands, from DIY folks-punks the Bloody Heads to Myspace-era Pitchfork buzz band Port O’Brien, along with his own projects Grand Lake, CHURCHES, and Soft People. Caleb is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Bangor University in Wales, focused on queer ecopoetics and also owns and operates the SLO Book Bike, a queer-owned, bike-powered, pop-up bookshop in San Luis Obispo.

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