The Fooler is partly a farewell to and reclamation of a version of Waterhouse’s past existence framed by a city that is part dream, part reality and part potential – a tale of city haunted by song – a place filled with 45s produced by people like Bert Berns or released on Scepter, Wand, Atlantic and Verve and heard on the jukeboxes in iconic San Francisco institutions like Tosca, Specs and Trieste in North Beach

“We had a joke in the studio,” says Nick Waterhouse. “Some of the guys were like, ‘Nick, you’re gonna end up at a press conference like Dylan in ’65: “Who’s The Fooler?” ‘I don’t know, man, maybe it’s you! Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m becoming The Fooler right now…’”

The title of the sixth album from the Californian singer-songwriter is more than just the name of one of its dozen immaculate tracks. The Fooler is both a clue and a red herring. The Fooler is the observed and the observer, narrator and subject, truth and lie. The Fooler is the shadow and reflection of a city the artist knows sufficiently well to wander with his eyes closed, and a place which very possibly never even existed. The Fooler is not so much an unreliable narrator as a constantly shifting perspective. The Fooler is the new album by Nick Waterhouse, and it’s a lot.


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Today the artist shares two new album singles and videos for “Hide And Seek” and “The Fooler.” “Hide And Seek” puts you in the city of dreams that The Fooler unfolds in – and the sound is the place. This track was initially conceived in the summer of 2021 in California, looking out at the coast of the Long Beach harbor. It was a surreal afternoon as massive freighters hung on the horizon, like spaceships in some science fiction film waiting to invade the coast. The whole effect threw into contrast the largeness and terror of the inner life that an insecure relationship can hold. And title track “The Fooler” is about how your own heart and your memories can betray you in really nice ways. Waterhouse also created another way fans can tune in to the music. As depicted in the “Hide and Seek” music video, people can dial into his The Fooler radio show on KFLR and request the new singles. Lines are now live at +44 20 3514 0357.

“Many of the stories in the record come from that feeling of plasticity,” says Waterhouse. “What is memory? What is time? What is love between two human beings like in this imaginary city? It’s Cubist. A listener sees the angles of my life – and inexorably, my career – reflected in this work from all sides at once. I started thinking again about my university days, about modernist writers like Virginia Woolf, Christopher Isherwood, Hart Crane, or Ford Maddox Ford; about memory and how it betrays you; what you can see and what you can’t.”

Recorded by Mark Neill in Valdosta, Georgia, the album is a song-cycle of sorts, the arc of the album telling a tale of a city and its denizens. “There’s a phase shift that occurred writing this record,” says Waterhouse. “I had a breakthrough in how to tell stories in songs. It’s like an epiphany. I started realizing how I could bend time in these words and a lot of the things that weave through the record. I have a perspective as a narrator now, instead of being the occupant of the songs.”

18 januari 2023
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