The Nghiems "The Traveling Coat EP" Review

Originally published in the OCCC Pioneer on November 10th, 2008.

Norman has a tight-knit music scene in which many bands and musicians collaborate and work together. A new addition to said music scene is indie pop band The Nghiems (pronounced “Nims”).

Formed late last year, The Nghiems consist of brothers David and James Nghiem. The duo has recently been joined live by Sethy McCarroll (Student Film, Umbrellas), Ben King (Cheyenne) and Becky Carman.

The group just released its debut EP, “The Traveling Coat.” The EP was recorded with Ben King and Ryan Lindsey (Starlight Mints) at Blackwatch Studios in Norman.

The title track, “The Traveling Coat,” is a light-hearted, upbeat song anchored by a pounding rhythm section and echoey guitars. The slow paced “Nothing to Fear” is next. David Nghiem’s soft piano is the main focus here.

David Nghiem doesn’t exactly have the strongest voice, but his songwriting and the general vibe of the songs more than make up for what his voice lacks. The album’s catchiest track is the incredibly fun “Dancing Shoes.” This song serves as the highlight of most Nghiem live shows.

The EP finishes with two bonus tracks, cassette demos of the songs “So Long” and “Nothing to Fear” recorded late last year at their home. The sound quality is poor on these songs, but their charm still easily shines through. It’s also interesting to compare the two versions of “Nothing to Fear.”

Considering the short length of time The Nghiems have been together, “The Traveling Coat EP” is a very solid release, but it really just serves as a teaser for the group’s debut full-length, due out sometime next year.