I was recently sent the new EP from Fort Collins-based musician John Lindenbaum, who plays under the moniker Nadalands. I had the chance to give it a couple listens right away and then I was out of town for a few days and left it alone. Upon listening again, I’m struck by how solidly the songs are constructed. He switched from the basic instruments to an all-electronic setup for the first time, and the results are quite good.
I’d like to focus on the strongest song of the four on this EP, “49th Parallel.” It hits on a lot of subjects and gives them enough attention that you can digest each one. There are mentions of broken relationships, religious fanatacism and it’s antithesis, and the discovery that America is maybe not so great.
It sounds a lot like John Grant, which I’m totally ok with. Lindenbaum has a voice that stays mostly in one zone but it works for the music he’s making and he allows the words to paint the picture instead of injecting too much emotion.
“Some mornings I wake up and just for a moment forget that I live in the zone of the broken. And you don’t anymore, of course, because you went to be in a safer place that I’ll never see.”
The New Day treats lines like this and even more heartbreaking words with a cold detachment. If it were more heartfelt, the music could get sappy and lose some of its edge. I’m happy to report that this is also true of the other three tracks on the EP.