Six Black Birds
SIX BLACK BIRDS, the fourth release from Austin singer-songwriter Nathan Hamilton, has been years in the making and fans will agree this record was worth the wait. This is a very different Nathan Hamilton than the one who came away from 2000's Kerrville Folk Festival with New Folk honors. With a raw approach to production and the adoption of a denser sound closer to indie rock than the American he is generally known for, Nathan gives the listener a record that is much more intense than his previous efforts. (Tuscola 2000,All for Love and Wages 2002, Live at Floores 2003) The new album is brooding without being overly dark, artistically experimental without being disingenuous and at times a bit more playful and rough around the edges. This seems to be intentional and definitely works to the record's advantage. The album was recorded and mixed in Austin,Tx in six days and was co-produced by Darwin Smith & Erik Wofford at Cacophony Studios.(Voxtrot,The Black Angels,Okkerville River) There they helped capture the intense live energy of Hamilton and his great band while creating a multi layered and textured sound. The songs are by turns smoldering and incendiary, some progressing dangerously along with all the weight and intensity of a slow rolling train, while others openly combust into powerful, hard driving anthems that would make the ghost of Joe Strummer proud. The lyrics are excellent, filled with gut wrenchingly beautiful reflections on loss, love, social injustice and some truly surreal imagery. SIX BLACK BIRDS is not so much a stylistic departure as a complete artistic evolution. Fans may be a bit shocked at the change at first, but with each listen they will be wonderfully surprised.