Release Date: Jun 16, 2017
Record label: Suicide Squeeze
The mysterious, sensuous '70s era of gold dust women and yellow brick roads never ended for Michael Nau -- or at least that's the impression one's left with after listening to his gloriously vintage-tinged new LP, Some Twist. Midway track "Scumways," for instance, is one of the most beautifully written and recorded songs of this year, even though it would have fit nicely onto any Baby Boomer's radio playlist for decades. Chalk that up to its grooving guitar and horn coupling, along with its echoing percussion and Nau's sultry singing, all of which make it sound like it's enchanted with a magic spell by Stevie Nicks.
Some Twist is Michael Nau's second LP under his own name, though, like 2016's Mowing, it follows in the sandy footprints of his prior psych-folk project, Cotton Jones, and involves some of the same collaborators. An album of affectionate nostalgia both in terms of sound and subject matter, it lolls in the warmth of '70s AM pop as it reflects on certain people and misgivings, the ones that linger on the mind. Heavy reverb on both sustained and softly melodic guitars, piano, and vocals that tell more so than sing set the album's tone, along with pretty harmonic palettes that carry a hint of Bacharach.
For the second album released under his own name, Michael Nau distils some of the best elements of his works with Page France and Cotton Jones into a warmly organic mixture of low-key, sleepily pastoral chamber pop. Nothing here is rushed, instead unfolding like a long, lazy summer afternoon spent in the season's warm embrace, nestled in the shadow of an ancient tree watching the clouds gently make their way across the pure blue sky. In fact, much of the album feels as though it were unfurling itself in slow motion, completely and utterly unconcerned with the passage of time; it's as though each track were designed to simply float by, barely registering as anything more than merely pleasant from an aesthetic standpoint.