The Last Best West: The latest and greatest from Nick Faye and the Deputies

Cory Hope, Arts and Entertainment Editor  Ω

In the unlikely event that Buffalo Tom and Dinosaur Jr. were to have a love child, the resulting offspring would undoubtedly sound like Nick Faye.

Of course, Nick Faye and the Deputies have managed to pull off that particular sound even without that fictitious genetic makeup, or, in the case of Nick himself, ever having heard of Buffalo Tom.

Hailing from Regina, Saskatchewan, Nick Faye and The Deputies released their most critically acclaimed album so far, The Last Best West, in May 2011.

The Last Best West is “an album you come back to,” according to Nick.

While I thought this was an odd statement for an artist to make about his own album, it turns out he’s right.

The first time I heard this CD, I enjoyed it and put it away for a short time.

Then, when it came back out to the top of the pile, it was played again.

Within another day it was on my iPod.

It’s the kind of CD in which the enjoyment of listening to it builds, rather than peaking right away.

It’s the kind of music you’ll listen to longer.

Perhaps the lag time in enjoying this album stems from the opening track.  While the first track of many CDs is selected to set the mood of the album, the opening track on this one, Housing, seems out of place.
Housing is a slower track, which I think would have been better placed at the end of the CD where it could have served as an outro.

While it isn’t necessarily a bad song, it’s not representative of the rest of the album, and might dissuade potential listeners from continuing to listen to it.

But I won’t dwell on the placement of one song.

A simple change of track numbers on my playlist can fix that in seconds, and the rest of the album more than makes up for this one minor detail.

When asked about the life as a musician on the Prairies, Nick was enthusiastic about the music scene in the area.

With many friends in local bands, he collects their talents in the recording studio in an effort to “make recording fun.”

Nick tries to balance the life of student and musician, although he admits that being in university takes its toll on the amount of time and effort he can put into touring and promoting his album.

“Touring, even solo, takes its toll financially and physically,” he said.

The desire to hit the road and play shows while incurring a financial toll is an indication of musicians playing for the love of playing, and it provides an authentic feel to the music.

With songs about driving down the prairie roads with the windows rolled down, much of Nick Faye’s music is entirely relatable to anyone who has ever been sitting in a classroom, looking out the window and dreaming of simple pleasures.

Or (obviously) those driving down the road with their windows down.