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Album Review: “Some Twist” by Michael Nau

Album Review: “Some Twist” by Michael Nau

Get ready for a dreamy, woozy sensory overload in the best possible way. Maryland-born songwriter Michael Nau is back, following up on last year’s Mowing with a new collection of laid-back, soulful, folk-tinged songs in a similar vein as Brian Wilson or Harry Nilsson, and it couldn’t be more ideal for the mellow summer nights ahead. His new album, Some Twist, is out June 16 on Suicide Squeeze Records and Full Time Hobby.

Nau’s languid, meandering vocal melodies paired with fuzzed-out and feeding back guitar, and beautiful piano compositions will lure you in. Some Twist is a refreshingly quirky album, channeling the breezy and timeless side of indie pop-rock. Though recorded as a six-piece, the album exudes an airy and bare-bones, yet thoughtful feel that makes for a refreshing listening experience.

Lead single “Good Thing” opens the album with a warm melody and positive vibe – “Well the bird flies light in a heavy frame / Maybe you just learn to be alive and not regret the pain.” “Wonder” accentuates the simplistic beauty of piano paired with acoustic guitar plucking and dream-like echoing vocals, setting a relaxed tone for the entire album. Picking up energy, if only momentarily, “How You’re So For Real” is upbeat and fuzzed out, as Nau playfully contemplates a struggling relationship, “Sometimes your boy forgot to never get so old / Sometimes your boy for got to hold on / Now don’t you forget to let go of your boy.”

“Oh, You Wanna Bet?” continues in Nau’s soulful-americana styling before a strong psychedelic influence takes over, with a distorted guitar solo drifting over steady, sophisticated piano. “Waiting Too” transports the listener to some serious island vibes with luring lap steel guitar and delicate strumming of the acoustic guitar. The same momentum flows into the next track, “Scatter,” with heavily filtered vocals, a sensual guitar melody and funky rhythm, making for one of the most alluring tracks on the album. Chaos is induced on “The Load,” with swells of synthesizer and disorienting horn noodling billowing over top of what is seemingly a country-folk tune.

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Bringing select elements from his previous projects Page France and Cotton Jones, Michael Nau’s solo songwriting has shown drastic growth. Some Twist embodies a kaleidoscope of sounds, full of energetic yet relaxed ups and downs, making for an exciting second album.

-Kelsey Rzepecki