Photo by Whitney McGraw Nau
Michael Nau spent years making music with his wife Whitney McGraw in the band Cotton Jones (their 2009 album Paranoid Cocoon is a quiet classic that just gets better with age). After starting a family, Nau quietly put out Mowing–his solo debut–last year, but the understated album proved to be quite the catalyst. He’s an admitted song tinkerer, flitting between ideas without ever finishing them, but Mowing “felt like getting over a wall.”
Just over a year later, Nau is releasing Some Twist, and the sense of freedom is palpable in “Good Thing.” The song sounds like a folk-pop rewrite of “Everyday People,” buoyant and plainspoken. Some of that comes from the DIY smudges–Nau’s garage sounds just as good as any state-of-the-art studio–but it’s also in the lyrics. “You really miss the flying when you’re standing on the ground,” Nau admits in his Lee Hazlewood-esque croon. But a few verses later, he realizes that “the bird flies light in a heavy frame / maybe it just learned to be alive and not regret the pain.” Nau sounds like he’s doing the same, and as the songs says, it’s a good thing.
“Good Thing” appears on Some Twist, out June 16.
–Art Levy // host, Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., producer, My KUTX