Formats and Editions
Michael Nau is set to release his fifth full length record under Karma Chief Records on 12/8/2023. Since the mid 2000’s, he’s crafted a catalog of thoughtful, reflective songs as the frontman of indie-rock mainstays Cotton Jones, Page France, and Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread.
All 11 tracks come together to paint a beautiful picture. The lyrics invoke the listener’s imagination throughout. They’re introspective, but vague and open-ended. The indie rock backdrop shows signs of psych-soul influence with dry and punchy drums, lush synth lines, and tastefully verb-soaked vocal production. Sweeping string arrangements and French horn runs add cinematic motion to the waltz-y “Shiftshaping” (track 4). Slide guitar and a shuffling snare drum add some get-up-and-go to “Painting a Wall” (track 2). Nau’s vocal delivery falls somewhere between crooning to a crowd, telling stories to a loved one, and musing to himself.
The singer-songwriter’s relaxed attitude toward making records is discernible in the sound. A while back, veteran producer and engineer Adrien Olsen (The Killers, Lucy Dacus, Fruit Bats), approached him about recording in his Richmond, Virginia-based studio. For the first time in a while, Michael had some sessions on the calendar. He called a few old friends and put together a band. “I didn’t have much of a plan before Adrien reached out, so I wrote some songs specifically for the session,” Michael explained. “I was thinking about what would be fun to play with this specific group of guys."
The band consisted of several long-time collaborators and musicians who had participated in Nau’s various recording and touring efforts over the years. “It had been a while since I’d made music in a room with other people,” Michael shared. “We just sort of started playing and didn’t really talk about what was happening.” The combo’s newfound chemistry was a primary source of inspiration and, with the help of Olsen, ultimately led to an album’s-worth of music.
Nau and the band spent five days at Montrose Recording and left with a plan to return and finish up a few months later. “After the first session, I took a copy of the recordings with me to overdub a few things at my spot,” Michael shared. While he was working through it, he found a bunch of beautiful moments of jamming in between the takes. “I grabbed a bunch of the pieces and tried to work them in. Then, I dumped the whole thing onto a cassette as one long stream of songs.” With the record mostly complete, the final session at Montrose would consist of some simple overdubs and finishing touches.
But somehow, in the months between, he lost the overdubs. “Going into the second session, all I had was the cassette,” Michael explained. The band got back together and performed another batch of songs. At the end of their second session, they had enough music to pick and choose from for the new full-length. “The songs, as they appear on the album, are basically how they were recorded as a live band.” Grab a copy of Accompany on 12/08/2023 and keep an eye out for tour dates in the coming months.