Friday, March 15, 2024
Burlington - Waterfront
Michael Nau is your favorite band’s favorite songwriter. Since the mid 2000’s, he’s crafted a catalog of thoughtful, reflective songs as the frontman of indie-rock mainstays Cotton Jones, Page France, and Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread. Now, he’s set to release the fifth full-length record under his own name. Accompany is due out 12/08/2023 on Karma Chief Records.
All 11 tracks come together to paint a beautiful picture. The lyrics invoke the listener’s imagination throughout. They’re introspective, but vague and open-ended. The indierock backdrop shows signs of psych-soul influence with dry and punchy drums, lush synth lines, and tastefully verb-soaked vocal production. Sweeping string arrangements and French horn runs add cinematic motion to the waltz-y “Shiftshaping”(track 4). Slide guitar and a shuffling snare drum add some get-up-and-go to “Paintinga Wall” (track 2). Nau’s vocal delivery falls somewhere between crooning to a crowd, telling stories to a loved one, and musing to himself.
The singer-songwriter’s relaxed attitude toward making records is discernible in the sound. A while back, veteran producer and engineer Adrien Olsen (The Killers, Lucy Dacus, Fruit Bats), approached him about recording in his Richmond, Virginia-basedstudio. For the first time in a while, Michael had some sessions on the calendar. Hecalled a few old friends and put together a band. “I didn’t have much of a plan before Adrien reached out, so I wrote some songs specifically for the session,” Michael explained. “I was thinking about what would be fun to play with this specific group of guys."
The band consisted of several long-time collaborators and musicians who had participated in Nau’s various recording and touring efforts over the years. “It had beena while since I’d made music in a room with other people,” Michael shared. “We justsort of started playing and didn’t really talk about what was happening.” The combo’s newfound chemistry was a primary source of inspiration and, with the help of Olsen,ultimately led to an album’s-worth of music.
Nau and the band spent five days at Montrose Recording and left with a plan to return and finish up a few months later. “After the first session, I took a copy of the recordings with me to overdub a few things at my spot,” Michael shared. While he was workingthrough it, he found a bunch of beautiful moments of jamming in between the takes. “I grabbed a bunch of the pieces and tried to work them in. Then, I dumped the wholething onto a cassette as one long stream of songs.” With the record mostly complete,the final session at Montrose would consist of some simple overdubs and finishing touches.
But somehow, in the months between, he lost the overdubs. “Going into the second session, all I had was the cassette,” Michael explained. The band got back together and performed another batch of songs. At the end of their second session, they had enough music to pick and choose from for the new full-length. “The songs, as they appear on the album, are basically how they were recorded as a live band.” Grab acopy of Accompany on 12/08/2023 and keep an eye out for tour dates in the coming months.
Breezers is the musical identity and songwriting vehicle of the Los Angeles-based, multidisciplinary artist and songwriter Evan apRoberts. His songs are influenced by the vastness and romanticism of life in the West.
Since the early 2000s, apRoberts has worked as a hired gun playing bass and/or guitar for an ever growing list of artists including Michael Nau, Pink Mountaintops, Joel Jerome, Tall Tales and the Silver Lining, Little Wings, Kath Bloom, Sounding Arrow, Elisa Randazzo and Port O'Brien.
In addition to tending his many creative fires and surfing his brains out as much as possible, apRoberts has been quietly recording a new Breezers album featuring three of his long-time collaborators: Michael Nau, Melissa Castellano and Graeme Gibson (Gibson also mixed and shared engineering duties on the new record). The album is set for a Spring 2024 release on Blackbird Records.
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