Exposé Online banner

Nick Piunti — 13 in My Head
(Sugarbush Records SB700, 2014, CD / LP)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-01-24

13 in My Head Cover art"Power pop" is an interesting term to use for a musical style. "Pop" can bring to mind all sorts of horrors from "You Light up My Life" to "Feelings" (reaching back to the 70s), but like any genre, pop music has gems as well, such as (speaking subjectively, of course) "Without You" or "Imagine." Many listeners who fancy themselves outside the mainstream when it comes to musical taste look down on pop music, and simply insist a song like "Imagine" isn't really just pop — it's something more rarified, with some different label attached. But that's all sophistry. The simple truth is that there's nothing inherently wrong with pop as a style of music; like any style, there's good and bad. "Power pop" basically traces its origins to The Beatles: good melodies and catchy tunes played with a rock beat. (Of course, The Beatles weren't alone in this — The Beach Boys, Small Faces, The Byrds, and others were in the mix as well.) Big Star are a great example of how power pop can be unpopular, managing to avoid mainstream success in spite of having all the pieces in place. Modern proponents of the style like Matthew Sweet, Michael Penn, Teenage Fanclub, and so on manage cult followings but generally not multi-platinum sales. Finally getting around to the artist at hand, Nick Piunti got his start back in the 80s with a band called Dwarf (later called The Take), and 13 in My Head has all the best qualities of power pop in copious amounts: catchy melodies, a great voice, a knack for clever lyrical turns, guitars both jangly and crunchy, energetic arrangements. All with a little touch of psychedelia that keeps it interesting. In a better world than ours, Nick Piunti would be a superstar, and music nerds wouldn't have to be ashamed of liking him. The next best thing is to listen to him in this world and enjoy the pleasure of a superb craftsman doing his thing.

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Nick Piunti

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

XII Alfonso - Under – Apparently taking a break from their three-part tribute to painter Claude Monet, this French band has put out this lush instrumental concept album. You might typically say that an instrumental concept...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues