Nick Delffs was a longtime part of the Portland music scene before moving to Boise, Idaho, several years ago. He fronted shaggy indie rock band The Shaky Hands in Portland until 2011, later performed as Death Songs and collaborated with Luz Elena Mendoza and Ali Clarys in the exploratory group Tiburones.
Delffs released his first solo album under his own name earlier this year. As the album’s name suggests, “Redesign” is a collection of songs about reinventing yourself. The record’s first single, “Somewhere Wild,” pursues a theme of getting out of town and off the grid, but it’s also about throwing off old ideas of heaven, hell and the afterlife. The album’s two closers feature Mendoza’s gorgeous voice on “Temporarily Blind” and “Be My Eyes,” which tenderly conflate knowing with solitude: “There’s a solitude that comes from surrender /and I was given enough love to last through the winter. / So lock that door and I’ll serve my time. / They say freedom lives only in your mind.”
Delffs’ move to Boise was made to be close to his son, who’s the subject of one the album’s most playful songs, “Song for Aja,” where he imagines all the things they’re going to do together once he gets home from work. For Delffs, this also means an end to touring — at least for now — and he says that his relationship to music and songwriting has changed:
“It’s exciting to redesign your relationship to what you love to do. I feel like I’ve developed a more healthy relationship with music. It feels less co-dependent as it has in the past. I feel like I need it less. I love it probably more and I actually feel better about it than I have in the past.”
Below, hear the full interview below in the audio player (the song files are downloadable), and above, watch the performance of two songs from “Redesigned” and a pair of unreleased songs titled “It’s Coming to Me” and “Without Touching.”
Nick Delffs performed with Phillip Rogers, Ryan Oxford, Perry Pfister, Luke Wyland, and Ali Clarys.
Audio recording: Nalin Silva
Audio production and mixes: Steven Kray
Editor: Jarratt Taylor
Videographers: Jarratt Taylor, Nate Sjol, Nick Hennessy, William Ward
Executive Producer: David Christensen