Its possible youve heard the work of Michael Nau in some capacity over the years through his work in several other outfits (See Cotton Jones). Mowing marks his first debut recording as a solo artist, and its a nice first album that wont hit you too hard, but will slowly work its way into your heart.
Mowing comes across as a collection of carefully crafted folk lullabies, perfect for those days when you want to dissolve into your music, or at least be carried away on its light breeze. Youll begin to understand this notion when you first enter into the album with While You Stand. Gentle acoustic guitar wafts in like wind chime, and the warm, full vocals of Nau contrast the sweetness of the only other element in the track. Simple, yes, but so elegant; a refreshing break from the usual multilayered hyper-complex music we have so much of these days. But then, The Glass, kicks things into gear with the addition of other instrumentation that puts a little spunk into the mix. Theres a nice presence of ragtime piano and the guitars are a little fuzzy and jazzier. Naus voice is smoky and smooth, riding above the rest of the mix.
The rest of the album continues in this vein, later on in the album, you get the incredible So, So Long, which really hones in on the lullaby nature of the tunes on here. But then, theres also the deep classic blues bass line that you find in alt-country. This beautiful track is followed up by instant stick out favorite, Winter Beat, which is rambunctious as Nau gets; slow simmering drums give it a jazzy flair once more, subtle strings work their way in and out of the background. Youll find yourself closing your eyes and slowly nodding your head with the beat. Its gentle music for Sunday afternoons or waking up slowly in the morning.
Whats wonderful about Mowing is its breezy carefree spirit; it never gets too bogged down in itself. At the same time, this airy lightness makes it bit too transparent at moments, during which, its easy to let the music slip out of your focus. This is a small qualm in a soothing album, and I advise you to pick up a copy and give it a spin.