Friday, 29 June 2018

Review - Nat Lyon – Slant Front Desk

Nat Lyon – Slant Front Desk


Out Now

Review by Bungo Jackson.

Stately drone pop from New England's Nat Lyon.
Following on from 2017's Secular Winter Song, Slant Front Desk is the latest release from New England's prolific Nat Lyon.

Mainly employing echoed guitars, simple drums and bass, with drones, effects and occasional samples (borrowed from sports commentaries, see Riding High and Too Late), the vocals sit in rather than dominate the songs.

Nat's commitment to the same sonic palette throughout gives a focus and unity to Slant Front Desk as a whole. The album generally moves at a stately pace, fitting the artist's description of the music as “pastoral-punk / janky drone-pop”. Poppier moments are found in the second track, The New Economy, a sardonic comment on the 21st century office work environment - “There is security in obscurity but if you stand out you'll get nailed back down.”

The wonky but accessible lo-fi nature of these songs brings to mind US alt heroes such as Pavement and Yo La Tengo, while the sport instrumentals echo Mogwai or their post-rock contemporaries. (The simple, modulated cello c/o Aimee Kanzler on Too Late further recalls the end of the millennium/Chemikal Underground sound).

Nat Lyon's website bio says “[he] constructs characters at odds with a constantly changing world. They don't win or lose. They just exist.“  Similarly, his music establishes its own time.  As he says in album closer Trailhead, “maybe next year, maybe yesterday....someday”. Normal time has gone out the window.

Slow down to its pace. There's lots to enjoy.


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