If everything old is new again, Nick Waterhouse is in luck. The budding rocker, 26, often sports the slick fashions of the 1950s and ’60s—think fitted suits and chunky glasses—and has an ear for the soul-soaked sound of the era. His own horn- and organ-heavy tracks bring to mind the raucous rock and roll of Little Richard or the Animals. For Waterhouse, his sound and look are inseparable.
“I first started getting interested in clothes at the same time as music,” says the nattily dressed California native. “I would try to find what I wanted but not be able to explain exactly what it was.” Unable to snag new clothes with the fitted, midcentury look he craved, he ended up buying vintage.
Lucky for Waterhouse, a return to classic styles has become prevalent in both fashion and music.
“I remember reading about the rebirth of American menswear and it really amped me up,” he says, “because all of a sudden I was living in a world where I was able to make the music I wanted to hear and to look the way I wanted to look. It wasn’t about a period—if something’s good, I’m not going to mess with that.”
That much is apparent on his debut album, Time’s All Gone, a collection of exactingly crafted songs that pays homage to vintage rock. But he’s no throwback. “I do what I do because I think it’s cool,” he says. “I don’t sit around all day wondering what the most Fifties thing I could do is.”