Hailing from Green Bay, Wisconsin Nathan Mathes is a singer/songwriter who writes rock and folk music. He has released a number of albums all of which he recorded himself and played all the instruments on. On top of that his music has been used in numerous films and television shows
Nathan Mathes’ latest release Anajune Rival is a well produced, well-written album that fans of Wilco and Elliott Smith will embrace the first time they listen to it.
Most of the songs are warm and dripping with melancholy. Even the songs that feel more hopeful and upbeat have a tinge of sadness. There is nothing wrong with that if you ask me. The album opens with "An Offer I Can Take" which will draw the most comparisons to Elliott Smith. The guitars are melodic and atmospheric and almost had as much of my attention as his voice. "An Offer I Can Take" is a great song. I'm not sure it worked as an opener but nonetheless it worked.
Next up is "In The Long Run" which has more of a forward moving driving vibe. You can draw comparisons from Tom Petty to Wilco on this track. The guitar is again exceptional and by the second song I was enjoying the tone of his voice more and more. “Double Windsor” hits the perfect balance between melancholy and beauty. The organ was haunting and Mathes’ vocals sound at home on this track. "Leave Your House" contains reverb-laced piano along with percussion of some sort while "Time Wide Awake" may the most single worthy song on the album.
Mathes does a great job switching up the vibe as the album progresses. "Baby Wants To Meet" is an excellent song as is the slow moving "Bantam Boys."
Anajune Rival is a consistent, seamless album that has a great flow from beginning to end. On top of that some of the songs are so heartfelt and leave something with you even after they are over.
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