Thursday, December 11, 2008
Over at Ich Lüge Bullets yesterday Dom Passantino was—along with the usual unpleasant allusions—repping for terminated Sheffield twee-sters Monkey Swallows the Universe whilst saying that he’d never heard any of MSTU singer/songwriter Nat Johnson’s solo material. I’m in the opposite position. I did hear one of the MSTU albums but in a situation where I was in no position to take notice. But what I have done this year is rinse the track “Heart of Stone” which I grabbed from Johnson’s MySpace a while back. It currently ranks 15th in my iTunes play-count, between tracks by The Quick and Heart.
It’s type of song that I can imagine regularly being described as ‘effortless’ or ‘breezy’, something which begs the question; if it’s so simple why aren’t there loads more tracks like this? I can see why someone would say this though—each part of the song follows so smoothly from the last that it’s almost possible to imagine the song writing itself, animated notes dancing around like characters in a delirious 1920s Fleischer Brothers cartoon. Johnson’s pure voice skates fluidly over the top; an aloof, icy commentary.
You can buy “Heart of Stone” as part of Nat’s first solo single released by Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation. Here’s the video for the lead track “Dirty Rotten Soul”:
Nat Johnson – Heart of Clay [YSI]