"Black Ship White Sails"
(from Nathan Oliver 2007. Buy it here.)
My Space :: ReverbNation
Nathan Oliver's self-titled debut CD is a little gem of well-crafted, folkish pop songs. UNC dental student Nathan White enlisted a fine cast of musicians to flesh out his creations, including Lee Waters (Work Clothes), Matt McCaughan (him again -- Rosebuds, Portastatic, etc), and the production skills of Zeno Gill.
I'm not sure that the dental student thing is that relevant to the music, but I suppose that spending that much time staring into people's mouths might twist your perspective a bit. And there is something pleasingly off-center about this album, from the sonic quirks that make this more than generic guy-with-guitar rock (I guess that's viola on "Black Ship White Sails"?) to the obscurely dark tone of the lyrics. White ranges from quiet, acoustic numbers like "Sleep Song" -- mainly guitar, but still there's a noise in the background that complicates things -- to straight-ahead rockers like "Greys and Blacks". In between, he nods to the Violent Femmes ("Old Slow Poke") and reimagines the Ace of Base song "All That She Wants" in a bleakly haunting manner. But amidst all this, White has some lovely pop songs, and the two numbers that I'm featuring highlight that craft.
Nathan Oliver plays Sunday night (4/29) at the Cave in Chapel Hill, opening for the Trolleyvox. They don't have any more shows on their calendar after that, so check them out now!
Labels: Nathan Oliver