Jam of the Day | Nick Jaina – Sleep Child

Portland alt-folk musician, Nick Jaina, is a “starving artist” in every sense of the term. We often hear about indie musicians who fund their projects via fan donations or miss gigs because of the broken-down van that they couldn’t afford to fix in time. But, Jaina takes this idea to the extreme: he’s sacrificed relationships, he’s busked outside of national monuments, he’s literally gone without food for his craft. It’s a calling that he must answer time and time again despite what his rationality, his basic human needs, tells him.

His new album, A Bird in the Opera House, released last Tuesday, features the JOTD, “Sleep Child.” On the song, Jaina weaves dense, yet incredibly poetic lyrics into the foundational threads of a rapid, almost tribal, guitar beat and intricate percussion. Known for his high-concept albums, this apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Despite any trouble navigating the murkiness of his songwriting, I have to say “Sleep Child” is chock full of lyrical pairs that resonate deeply with me. My favorite: “I am incarcerated/ I am in love with the shape of your eyes.” I’m thankful for the reminder that there are songwriters out there capable of successfully finding new ways to describe love.

Basic needs met or not, Jaina knows how to capture heightened emotions in a truly unique way.

Nick Jaina – Sleep Child

A Bird in the Opera House is out now on Hush Records. Be sure to check out Jaina’s recent Daytrotter session, as well.

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