Los Angeles singer/songwriter Nick Waterhouse is known for his melding of classic American rhythm and blues, jazz and soul, and he has previously collaborated with acts like Ty Segall, Leon Bridges, Allah-Lahs, Jon Batiste, Ural Thomas, and Boogaloo Assassins. Waterhouse released his fourth album—a self-titled LP—via Innovative Leisure earlier this year, which embraces rip-roaring rockabilly, jazzy R&B and bouncy garage rock. In support of the release, Waterhouse came into Paste’s NYC studio to perform three songs from it: “Song for Winners,” “Black Glass” and “Wherever She Goes (She Is Wanted).”
The affable, peppy California musician certainly has the guitar and vocal chops and is well-versed in the American rock ‘n’ roll canon. Waterhouse says his new album is about “getting ghosted, power dynamics, objectification, crushing debt, false media narratives, even falser concepts of identity given to us by technology, rotten and confounding bad faith ‘politics,’ and a true absence of ideology.”
During his Paste Studio session, Waterhouse told a story about an usual interaction when he was working in a corner shop. He said an “old hippie lady who looked like she had emerged from a ghost ship” handed him Them, Van Morrison and Mose Allison records and told him, “These have been waiting for you.” Waterhouse took it as a reaffirmation of a psychic connection because he grew up listening to those records, which he called “a nexus of all [my] influences.”
Watch Nick Waterhouse’s full Paste Studio session below.