Nevada Sky – Nevadasky (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

With an ep title, and indeed an artists name, which conjures such immediate and iconic imagery, you could be forgiven for thinking that the music found on this latest 5-track offering falls easily into a country or Americana corner. There are certainly elements of that to be found within the music but that is only one sonic strand of many which give the music its unique and multi-generic sound.

If the reference point of the big and dramatic skies of the American southwest has any bearing on the music, it is to the scope and drama of some of what is found here found here rather than any suggestion of a sound or style which might be attached by association.

The opening salvo, Dust, kicks off with a groove more reminiscent of New Wave or perhaps even New Romantic, one that bristles with energy and expectation meaning that the top note melody and vocal delivery can relax slightly, knowing that much of the work to engage the listener has already been done. The result is a song that bristles with dance-rock energy whilst also displaying the sass and smarts of the modern singer-songwriter.

The title track follows, leaning more into the rootsy realm that the album cover and title suggest but again, poised and polished, lifting this gentle, mid-paced pop piece into something that sits between the lonesome high of the country crooner and the power-pop of the modern, forward-thinking balladeer. And, perhaps having thought that you had the measure of the man behind the music from these two opening numbers, Nevadasky instead offers a third musical facet with Behind a Closed Door, which seems to wander along some wonderfully off-kilter grooves, anthemic and uplifting but also slightly odd, which is what gives it a unique charm. Why offer tried and tested when you can give us bold and beguiling? Why indeed?

I’ll Be Fine sees the singer-songwriter style being wrapped in additional tones and textures to be lifted into something more substantial, too smart to be pop, too mature to be indie, too accessible to be alt-rock but dancing around in the space where all of those musical genres touch. And that is not a bad place to be.

The album is put to bed with the arabesque and interesting vibes of The Sands of Time, a song which seems both perfectly at home in the here-and-now and yet echoing out to us from the past, both perfectly modern and wonderfully primal, a timeless message and a genreless, era-less sound.

Nevada Sky is a calm, cool and collected set of songs, modern and accessible yet offering more than the usual pop fare or singer-songwriter moves. It gathers influences from many sounds and styles and puts them together in such a way that the album seems to shift and wander between any number of genres and directions at will. And that can only be a good thing. Right? Right!

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