Dear summer, your soundtrack has arrived. This week marks the welcomed return of Matt Nathanson with his latest effort, Modern Love.
The San Francisco-based Nathanson took a year-long break from touring to work on his seventh album with his longtime collaborator, Mark Weinberg. Drawing influence from such bands as Depeche Mode, AC/DC and Talking Heads, Modern Love is a striking move forward from the singer-songwriter.
“We started with the idea of keeping a groove steady the whole way through a song,” Nathanson stated in a press release about the album. “I wanted things to breathe and hang off these songs in a way that defied the fact that they were written on an acoustic guitar.”
The lead single, “Faster,” really took me by surprise at first, because it is such a departure from “C’mon Get Higher” and the other material from Nathanson’s previous album, Some Mad Hope. The song really grabbed my attention, and it left me feeling excited about the direction in which he is taking his music.
Songs like “Mercy” and the album’s title track are guaranteed live show sing-a-longs. Both burst with such an energy which makes them perfect additions to any listener’s summer playlists.
Other standouts include “Run,” which features Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, and “Room At the End of the World.” In particular, “Run” shows the singer-songwriter’s sexier, romantic side. Its opening lyrics, “I wanna watch you undress, I wanna watch you glow, let hair down, all around, and cover us both,” are just the tip of the intimate iceberg. While I feel like it could have been recorded by just Nathanson alone, the combination of his vocals with Nettles’ elevates the song’s overall chemistry and emotional connection.
I really like “Room At the End of the World” because it has a bit of an anthemic feel to it, and I can’t wait to see how it translates onstage during a live show. If you have ever had the opportunity to see Nathanson perform live, then you know that he has a very charismatic stage presence which leads to quite the enamored audience.
With a bigger sound combined with provocative lyrics, Modern Love will be the album this summer that moves people to sing-a-long, to dance, and to be good to one another.
Modern Love is available now. For more information on Matt Nathanson, check out his official website.
Photo credit: Miriam Santos