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Nathan


Country of origin:

Canada

Type of music generally:

Alternative pop with shadings of folk and country

Status:

Most recent release, Key Principles (2007)

See also:

The Nathan site (down as of July 2016)

Wikipedia's entry on Nathan

Nathan's MySpace page

Comparisons:

Björk, The Sundays, Innocence Mission

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

Nathan's music is spirited and fun. Their unusual approach to it is refreshing. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

nathan is one of the best musical things to come out of canada in a long time. they're a blend of bits of rootsy folk, sweet pop and itchily subversive lyrics. you think the songs are all happy and nice, but they're actually quite biting and a bit disturbing in a wonderfully cathartic way. tight vocal harmonies, an accordion, a supreme lack of overproduction. and i'd compare them to something, but i can't. hear them for yourself. but christine fellows, mia sheard and rheostatics fans should enjoy nathan thoroughly. (stone@pangea.ca)

Comments about live performance:

I saw them at Folk Alliance in Nashville. A band from Manitoba Canada composed of two young girls, one who plays guitar, and one who plays accordion, plus drums and bass (though they weren't there in the showcase I saw). They caught my attention with their cover of Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams". Very high energy, very fun, and very friendly and enthusiastic. More indie-pop sounding than traditional folk. (2/03, jjhanson@att.net)

Recommended first album:

Any

Recordings:


stranger

Release info:

2001—Nathan Music—nmc001

Availability:

See The Nathan site

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Keri McTighe—vocals, guitar
Shelley Bilewitch—accordion, guitars, vocals
Devin Latimer—bass
Daniel Roy—drums, percussion

Guest artists:

Bob Filep—keyboards
Dustin Leader—electric guitar on 6 tracks
Scott Nolan—drums on 1 track
Tony Klein—tuba on 1 track

Produced by:

Nathan

Comments:

A bewitching little album. The vocal stylings are rather like Björk, but the music is not like hers.
     The country-styled "Stranger" mysteriously avoids all the clichés of the genre. It could be due to Keri McTighe's adorable voice and Shelley Bilewitch's harmonies.
     "Meritte" contrasts disturbing lyrics with an innocent vocal and a restrained musical backing. "Pick me Up Suzie" takes the prize for morbid lyrics by describing a murder victim's thoughts after death. The gently swaying tune won't give that away so you'll miss it if you don't listen carefully.
     It's a very subtle and thought-provoking album. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

Key Principles

Release info:

2007—Nettwerk—0 6700 30539 2 1

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Keri Latimer—vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, theremin
Shelley Marshall—vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, accordion, banjo
Devin Latimer—bass, percussion, backing vocals
Damon Mitchell—drums, harmonica, acoustic guitar, backing vocals

Guest artists:

Howard Redekopp—backing vocals, piano
Kurt Dahle—percussion
Mike Marshall—backing vocals
Joel Kwiatkowski—trumpet
Colin Kelly—trombone
Todd Martin—French horn
Peter McLellan—tuba
William J. Western—pedal steel

Produced by:

Nathan and Howard Redekopp

Comments:

I don't know if I've ever heard such cheerful alt-country-folk before. At least in sound. Lyrically, the songs are reflective, somewhat melancholy, or wistful maybe. And the band does moody well too. "The Wind" is lovely and haunting, with eerie wind noises. It's directly followed by "You Win," a 2/4 toe-tapper with brass accents. And that's followed by the circus waltz "Key Principles of Success." It's wonderful and different and fun, and if this description sounds at all intriguing, you'll want to check it out. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

Keri McTighe was formerly in the band Special Fancy with Christine Fellows.


Thanks to Anna Maria Stjärnell and JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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