Tracks of the Decade: “The Wind” by Nathan

“The Wind”
by Nathan
from KEY PRINCIPLES
Nathan was one of those bands I stumbled upon this decade that make it all worthwhile. They don’t really seem to have made any kind of impact outside of their native Canada, but that makes it a little bit sweeter to cheerlead for them on the American front. Considering the overall quality of their 2007 release KEY PRINCIPLES, it’s difficult to name any one song a standout, but “The Wind” manages to whip the basest musical elements into a kind of numinous cyclone that I haven’t heard since that one band recorded “Street Spirit.” Keri Latimer and Shelley Marshall weave sublime harmonies around Latimer’s spell-binding lyrics while the instruments frame the song in wide-open reverie, theremin blowing through the banjo like wind through wheat. While “The Wind” features powerfully vivid standalone lyrics, Latimer’s greatest achievement is her masterful phrasing. Lines like “I know that I’ll regret it/But I think I’m gonna let it in” transcend space and time here. Overall, “The Wind” first strikes the senses like a storm rolling in on the desolate plains of Montana, and then leaves you haunted like a creaking floorboard in a quiet house. Was anyone really there? “The Wind” is great because it sings from beyond, the dreadful sorrows of the unknown vying for our attention.

nathan“The Wind”
by Nathan
from KEY PRINCIPLES (2007)

Nathan was one of those bands I stumbled upon this decade that make it all worthwhile. They don’t really seem to have made any kind of impact outside of their native Canada, but that makes it a little bit sweeter to cheerlead for them on the American front. Considering the overall quality of their 2007 release KEY PRINCIPLES, it’s difficult to name any one song a standout, but “The Wind” manages to whip the basest musical elements into a kind of numinous cyclone that I haven’t heard since that one band recorded “Street Spirit.” Keri Latimer and Shelley Marshall weave sublime harmonies around Latimer’s spell-binding lyrics while the instruments frame the song in wide-open reverie, theremin blowing through the banjo like wind through wheat. While “The Wind” features powerfully vivid standalone lyrics, Latimer’s greatest achievement is her masterful phrasing. Lines like “I know that I’ll regret it/But I think I’m gonna let it in” transcend space and time here. Overall, “The Wind” first strikes the senses like a storm rolling in on the desolate plains of Montana, and then leaves you haunted like a creaking floorboard in a quiet house. It’ll leave you wondering, “Was anyone really there?”

Radiohead: The Bends (1995)


(1995) The BendsRadiohead
The Bends; 1995
EMI/Capitol Records

My Rating: 10/10

We all know the story by now: one-hit wonder mope-rockers fated to follow their alterna-rock debut into oblivion go and record an album of beautiful, esoteric, and glorious Brit-rock, humbly putting loud-mouths like Oasis and Blur to shame. Where PABLO HONEY sounded a bit too rehearsed and over-produced, herein the band manage to let her breathe just enough to capture 12 cuts over-flowing with heart and vigor. Producer John Leckie wisely guided the band to emphasize their noisy streak, utilizing just as many live recordings as in-studio sessions.  Every song here could have been a single at the time, and every song is literally perfect. Simply put, one of the greatest rock records ever created. “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” is the greatest album closer in the history of rock music. “Creep?” Never heard of it.

TRACKS:
1. Planet Telex (5/5)
2. The Bends (5/5)
3. High and Dry (5/5)
4. Fake Plastic Trees (5/5)
5. Bones (5/5)
6. (nice dream) (5/5)
7. Just (5/5)
8. My Iron Lung (5/5)
9. (I Wish I Was) Bulletproof (5/5)
10. Black Star (5/5)
11. Sulk (5/5)
12. Street Spirit (Fade Out) (5/5)