Review Summary: and a song well sung is a sung well song so sing / if nothing else you must remember that you're still breathingOh karma chameleon / Are you in tune to the voice that makes that noise saying your work here is done? /
And do you dream at night of thoughts inside you'll never tell no one / Unless you find some way to mask them in some sarcastic pun?
... Theo Wilson (Zumm Zumm, Defiance Ohio) rhymes on "Motion in the Ocean", tongue twisting, voice wavering, accompanied by pretty guitars, horns, and glock. Wilson's voice and poetry are the life of this simple indie pop album, accompanied by Neutral Milk Hotel vets Laura Carter and Robbie Cucchiaro (and many others). Their music is relatively basic but consistently charming with all of its hooks and layers. And matched with Conor O--i mean Theo Wilson's dynamic presence, it's a striking balance.
Tracks like "Broken Cityscapes" are where Nana shine, with verses erupting into choruses with loud brass chords, each song section building or falling fluidly into the next. "Motion in the Ocean" is another standout, with dense percussion and beautiful guitar lines. The opening two-tracks are possibly the best. The female backup vocals on "Tambourine-N-Thyme" are perfectly placed.
Where the record falters is after the six or seventh track, when you start to crave something fresh. Maybe a new chord progression? A new feel? Redundancies aside, the second half is ultimately filled with weaker tracks anyway, including anti-climactic closer "The Idea That Everything Could Possibly Ever Be Said". The record's latter side is propped up by the violently spat "Tiny Rainbows" and Cassadega b-si--uhh, the charming "Everything You Ever Hoped Or Worked For." I'm just ***ing around. This album is a well-crafted, engaging piece of artwork that has just enough uniqueness to feel fresh in a tired genre. At times I feel like I'm listening to some long-lost Bright Eyes LP at a mechanically accelerated pace, but then I stop being stupid. Put it on and enjoy it, especially the first couple tracks.