Album Review: Israel Nash -'Silver Season'

I was sent Israel Nash's Silver Season (released October 9th via Loose/Thirty Tigers) quite some time ago. Having finally managed to give it some listening it seems somewhat fitting that I'd hazily avoided doing any practical writing for so long, as this is a great big cosy daydream of an album. Seriously, pretty much every track on this 9 song album could be labelled as the perfect alarm tone in the morning to gently spoon you back into the ugliness of the day.

9 tracks isn't many really, but the shortest of the litter is 4 minutes and 30 seconds long so it's something of a dedicated listen, albeit not a laboured one. The whole feel of the album is of a psychedelic-folk mash-up. Think a smoking caterpillar readying himself for some Quorn sausages as he leans against a setting sun. It can perhaps be a little one-paced in places, but to its credit this helps orchestrate that dreamy listless sound it harbours so well. Furthermore, Israel Nash manages to build the bricks of each verse into an emphatic wall of a chorus particularly well too. This shows off the vocal harmony on offer, which is quite impressive actually. All the sounds are very tight; all the instruments arrive on time and the vocals close the door behind them punctually.

A highlight for me was 'Parlour Song'. Initially I was somewhat put off by the extensive intro (something that sounds like rain and then some light instrumental music, before the song really kicks in) but I've since warmed to it. I have forever been a sceptic of ambience despite being a Sonic Youth fan (I can name you at least two albums), so I'm glad Israel Nash has used it to productive effect as opposed to needless filler. Anyway, I digress. 'Parlour Song' then explodes with tranquillity onto the scene and is frustratingly soothing. There's some sadness in this song too so please don't expect a lazy dreamy effort.

'Strangers' would be my other pick of the bunch. It's a musically dense song; there's quite a lot of instruments going on here and they're played with a high level of proficiency. This opens once again with a small instrumental before settling down and building back up again. The drop at about 1:45 is absolutely fantastic. This is probably the track I found that strayed furthest away from having that relaxing quality the majority of the album possesses. I must admit, I found the vocals at times hard to understand (literally - the music drowns them out in parts, I didn't mean on some sort of metaphysical level) though it's possible my tinny laptop speakers had more to do with that.

Israel Nash's 'Silver Season' is a solid and mostly faultless album. If I'm being fastidious it sounds a little overproduced in parts but other than that I struggle to complain. None of the tracks stand out as being weak which gives it that rare ability of not needing to be skipped at any point. The album has a mature sound and Israel Nash have already shown they are capable of expanding their sound further, as showcased by comparing this to 'Rain Plans'Israel Nash's album prior to this (which is also a very good album too).

Words of Jake Collins

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Israel Nash European Tour 2016: 
Jan 21 - Vulkan Arena - Oslo, Norway 
Jan 22 - Debaser - Gamla Stan, Sweden 
Jan 23 - Katalin - Uppsala, Sweden 
Jan 25 - Yacht Club – Royal Garden - Trondheim, Norway 
Jan 26 - Storsjoteatern - Östersund, Sweden 
Jan 27 - Kulturhuskallaren - Örebro, Sweden 
Jan 28 - Tryckhallen - Falkenberg, Sweden 
Jan 30 - Pustervik - Masthugget, Sweden 
Jan 31 - Garage - Höganäs, Sweden 
Feb 1 - Palladium - Växjö, Sweden 
Feb 3 - Loppen - Copenhagen, Denmark 
Feb 4 - Biljardkompaniet - Kristiansand, Sweden 
Feb 5 - The Tivoli - Helsingborg, Sweden 
Feb 6 - KB - Malmö, Sweden 
Feb 8 - Nochtspeicher - Hamburg, Germany 
Feb 9 - Paradiso Noord - Amsterdam, Netherlands 
Feb 10 - Stadtgarten - Koln, Germany 
Feb 11 - Lido - Berlin, Germany 
Feb 12 - Orangehouse - Munich, Germany 
Feb 14 - La Maroquinerie (les nuits de l'alligator) - Paris, France 
Feb 15 - The Garage - London, UK - tickets