We’ve been following the humble yet strikingly brilliant Michale Nau for a couple of years now. Since chatting with the singer a while back we gave ourselves the opportunity to enjoy all his work from Cotton Jones to Page France and have always been equally charmed and matured by his laconic liberty. Now, he’s back with another full-length Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread to make you long for summer picnics and a sepia life.
The first full length from Nau’s solo career with a full band the album is another piece of a very pleasing puzzle. Michael Nau was always beyond the measure of ‘good’ when crafting his songs under his previous bands and in his prior work as a solo artist. His ability to make a song feel warm, comforting and rose-tinted despite the sometimes world-weary concepts always landed him on my Sunday playlist. However, this latest effort with the full band has moved Nau on to another plain.
The band, who rightly take their place as the album’s title, have added another dimension to Nau‘s work and it’s a dimension with a multitude of different layers and landscapes, all expertly coiffed by the group. Whether it is on the soulful sounds of ‘Smudge’ or the more pop-laden ‘On Ice’ the band earn their keep across all of the 11 tracks.
The latter of the tracks is, for me, one of the stand-out songs of the year. Simple and pretty in many ways, it feels as regular and romantic as a high school sweetheart. One line sums up this piece of indie-folk perfectly “It doesn’t matter how we turn on the light, baby, let’s turn off the dark” and with it the sentiment is lavishly laid across the airwaves for us.
I could turn myself into a first-year media student and talk endlessly about the juxtaposition in Nau’s tracks, but it would be somewhat pointless. This nuance is quite clearly heard in Michael’s vocal alone – always threading a line between sadness and happiness – he manages to craft his lyrics along the same vein. This coupled with the new thick, luxurious musical background, allows Nau to more accurately express himself but also touch his audience.
All in all, Michael Nau &The Mighty Thread, is, without doubt, the best album Nauhas ever been involved in. It’s an album you will likely see across all of the end of the year lists, and undoubtedly in your local record shop’s ‘favourite’ pile. Drenched in indie-folk, splashed with the extra sparkle of a full band, this record still heavily lies on the rounded back of a travelling crooner, and trust us, that crooner has the best stories.