Artist Spotlight

Review: Jay Nash, “Letters From the Lost”

No Comments 11 July 2013

Review: Jay Nash, “Letters From the Lost”

“There’s little question that Jay Nash is a talent and should be heard.”

Artist: Jay Nash

Album: Letters From the Lost

Genre: Americana/Rock

RIYL: Will Hoge, David Gray, Brett Dennen

Jay Nash Letters from the Lost

Singer/songwriter Jay Nash has put together a compelling assortment of songs with his album Letters From The Lost, an album of extremely high quality with an emphasis on his well-crafted songs and voice.

Many of the passionate songs on Letters From The Lost are characterized by Nash’s voice carrying each tune and capturing the listener’s attention. Lyrically, Nash keeps things relatively simple with a clear and relatable message. There is a lot to enjoy with this album and none of the songs overstay their welcome. The writing is mature with a very good balance of melody and intelligent lyrics. Nash’s vocal work really drives home each track, singing with clear emotion and connecting with the listener.

“Wander” was a well-thought out choice for an opening statement to set the tone for the album. It’s a haunting track with a spacious sound and faint sonics. Quite a lovely number this one, and it sounds like the perfect backdrop for a summer night looking up at the stars and just forgetting things for a while. “Wander” is carried by the sparse arrangements and Nash’s voice.

A cut such as “Twist My Arm” is more upbeat with all the right hooks and a mix of both electric and acoustic guitars. There is wide appeal here. Mellower fare like “The Art Thief” has a tranquil sound with strong appeal that crosses a wide range of demographics. These are fully-formed songs and do not need much tweaking or manipulation. Nash is already an accomplished player/singer/writer and there’s really no justifiable reason Letters From The Lost shouldn’t or couldn’t be a success. Nash doesn’t necessarily sound like a particular singer/songwriter but people that come to mind include Bruce Cockburn, Neil Diamond, Jackson Browne and others. There’s a good amount of David Gray in there as well.

“Sometimes” is another strong showing with effective female vocal harmonies that add depth and variety to the record. The acoustic based “Blame It On The Wind” is one of the best-written songs on the record and bears a sparse arrangement. It’s Bob Dylan-esque in the best sense of the word, and packs a lyrical punch. “Stars” is a track with aching vocals and piano touches bearing a Coldplay quality, but stands out as a well-composed number where the listener can get swept away in the melodies. It’s yet another song that works its way into the listener’s head almost right away.

“I Won’t Let Go” is a mellow offering that leans toward ballad territory with some well-placed saxophone and avoids being corny or saccharine. Then there’s “Sailor,” which is a bit of a departure, upbeat and punchy with an uplifting chorus and lots of spirit. Some slide guitar gets tossed in the mix as well making “Sailor” a fun romp. “The White Whale” also stretches Nash from the rest of the material sounding dark and moody with some keyboard atmospherics and a driving beat. Nothing else on the album sounds like this and “The White Whale” might not be for everyone, but that’s why it’s an interesting choice and shows Nash isn’t afraid to go outside of the box a bit.

There’s little question that Jay Nash is a talent and should be heard. The songs on Letters From The Lost are strong and so are the vocal performances. The production is of high quality and the mix, though dry at times, does accent the songs in an understated way. Songs such as “The Art Thief”, “Stars”, “Blame It All On The Wind” and especially “Wander” are all excellent cuts with potential for radio play or inclusion in any film or TV show.

Hopefully if things work out, Jay Nash’s letters won’t remain lost for very long.

 

Jay Nash website: http://www.jaynash.com/

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