A perceptive look at life’s transitional moments.
A lot has happened to New York based Nathan Xander since his last album, the critically acclaimed ‘Blue House‘, released in 2017. This excellent follow-up, ‘French Creek Flood‘, named after the creek that runs through his small hometown of Union City, PA, contains eleven new songs that showcase both his willingness to tackle a range of different subjects, and the musical styles that have influenced him. It is an excellent achievement, and with another full length already planned for later this year, Xander is clearly in a good place after a period of self-reflection and deliberate choices.
‘French Creek Flood‘ is a perceptive look at life’s transitional moments. ‘I had lost two friends to opiates and was thinking about my relationships and how I was living my own life’. He quit drinking in October 2019 and joined up with local musician Julian Cubillos, who offered up his apartment in Ridgewood, Queens for the recording session. The bedroom and bathroom were the perfect spaces to isolate guitar amps while the band camped out in the high-ceilinged, mirror-bedecked living room. Members of the band include Cameron Kapoor on electric guitar, William Duncan on drums, keys, and percussion, and Colin DeHond on bass. Mastering duties were handled by Carl Saff in Chicago. A close-knit group, their enjoyment during the creation of the album really shines through; a mix of country, folk and rock reflecting Xander’s self-professed habit of scouring record shops for first the classics, then hidden gems and vinyl obscurities, alongside the sounds of the local music scenes of Pittsburgh, Chicago and now New York City, which he credits for pushing him to grow as a songwriter.
The song ‘EXIT/ IN‘ is an account of a night spent playing to just a few people in a place designed to hold many more; a typical blend of the honesty, earned wisdom and wry humour that has become Xander’s trademark, but with his drive to ever improve leading him to play shows with the likes of Justin Townes Earle, Tyler Childers and BJ Barham of American Aquarium, and an album of this quality, larger audiences and greater recognition cannot be far away.