Michael Nau

Some Twist

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Some Twist is Michael Nau's second LP under his own name, though, like 2016's Mowing, it follows in the sandy footprints of his prior psych-folk project, Cotton Jones, and involves some of the same collaborators. An album of affectionate nostalgia both in terms of sound and subject matter, it lolls in the warmth of '70s AM pop as it reflects on certain people and misgivings, the ones that linger on the mind. Heavy reverb on both sustained and softly melodic guitars, piano, and vocals that tell more so than sing set the album's tone, along with pretty harmonic palettes that carry a hint of Bacharach. Production touches break through the wistful glaze and keep the songs engaging, if still sleepy. Some of those include the distorted attack of "How You're So for Real," which mixes soft and course textures that play out like the musical equivalent of a high-contrast photograph. "Oh, You Wanna Bet?" has segments of brassy effects with pedal steel and jazz guitar, and "Scatter" surprises with drum samples and rippling organ tones. The narcotic "Waiting, Too" transports with hypnotic strummed acoustic guitar and the ghostly, distant moans of varied guitar tones, in and out of strict time ("Because I had to wait/You're waitin', too"). Still, even a bluesy, relatively uptempo number like "The Load" stays in the restrained realm of soft rock, and Nau's delivery, if occasionally annoyed that the topics at hand aren't being handled better, remains unflustered, gravitating back toward calm appreciation. It's a high-humidity set for long summer days, present or imagined.

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