Israel Nash – Israel Nash’s Silver Season
“I don’t live like the others”, says Israel Nash on his Silver Season, “I see twice as many colours”. It’s a hippy-style sentiment right out of the 1970s. And this is an album that’s infused with the sweet, yet slightly acrid smells of Topanga Canyon. But there’s more to Israel Nash’s Silver Season than a whiff of patchouli oil and a few liberal sentiments. Full of songs with wonderful melodies (‘Mariner’s Ode’ is a fine example), great playing all round (check out the bass line on ‘Strangers’), and the highest quality song craft (pretty much anything on the record), this is more than a throwback to a now bygone era. This is a great album in its own right. What’s nice is that it doesn’t give in to ’70s-style excess. Sure, there’s a good old-fashioned guitar solo on ‘Strangers’, but the temptation to dress up a jam as a fully fledged composition, or simply to over-extend (think Jonathan Wilson’s last album) is curbed. So whereas a song like ‘Lavendula’ moves along so nicely that there must have been a temptation to keep it going, we’re treated to 4 minutes 30 of glorious sounds and then it’s brought neatly to an end. “Sooner or later we’ll surrender our guns”, we’re told on ‘Parlour Song’, “But not until we’ve shot everyone”. It’s something we might have heard a few decades back. But it’s still relevant today. Just like Israel Nash and his Silver Season.