Many moments in life, too many probably, skate by with such exacting and forceful speed, that you cannot even take note of their presence before they are gone and forgotten and piled up in the corner like yesterday’s Chic-o-Stix wrappers. One more on the stack. What we look for along this path are moments you can hold in your hand and see in all their angular multitudes and depth. Like when we hold a crystal duck purchased at a Mendocino gift shop, we want absolute clarity and we want it now. We want to separate the defining lines of imagination from the bone-breaking chore of living life with your feet on the ground.
Nathaniel Russell navigates his way through a crooked world with an alarmingly exact pinpoint on these moments. Far away from the clatter of humans and their machines, forever fogging up the spaces that lie between our embittered souls, Russell finds solace in pristine moments of clarity and the comedy of mankind drifting alone in the cosmos.
Heavy words? Yes, well, heavy begets heavy. “NR” (as the leaders of leaders have referred to him) has worked in largely visual mediums for what is, day-by-day, turning into a decades-long career. The same sort of simplicity and perceptiveness that creeps into his growing world of lines, color, shapes and words is found here on the first album to be released under his own name.
These are songs recorded direct to tape, from brain to posterity, with few added flavors. (Note: Does the plaintive experience of a man who is, above and beyond, a LIVER of LIFE count as added flavor?) These are the sort of songs you can comb through for glimpses into an arcane knowledge. Or maybe you just let them float by like an ant on a leaf. Take care, little buddy!
Nat draws from the heroes of New Zealand, New York, New Imperial Beach and many other places where an adjective is a proper noun. His clipped phrases and minute melodies come to life in a haze of six-string strumming and slightly narcotic repetition. Close your eyes for a second, and it’s like he’s the last sane man on earth calling out for his brothers across the great universal divide. Is it gee-tar magic? Is it the ultimate in “real person” vibes? The first in a series of “unreal person” sessions? Maybe a combo deal? If so, let’s be thankful it doesn’t come with chili fries but instead comes with a free glimpse into a blessed mind.
LP limited to 300 copies
available here: tinyurl.com/lq5qm64