This album sits just outside the usual WP Venn diagram of gumbo rock, hairy honky tonk and outlaw boogie, but it makes the grade with its eighteen wheels of cosmic truck stop pop. We’d certainly be doing ourselves a disservice if we didn’t give it a mention, it’s sure to be one of the most memorable albums from a summer of great music. So, to paraphrase an old classic, don’t fence us in.
This beautiful album, self-produced by Nash, sounds like the album Jonathan Wilson might make if he employed a decent editor. Don’t be surprised if you see the name Israel Nash as a producer credit with increasing frequency. Despite employing a panoply of instrumentalists, including harpsichord, French horn, strings, brass, hand bells, pedal steel, autoharp, banjo and all manner of guitars, bowed, strummed and plucked, this work remains concise and focused. The songs are defined and succinct, rather than overblown and sprawling. Here is an album that ends when it should, at just the right point to hit play again.
Lifted is undoubtedly a Sunday morning saint of an album, rather than a Saturday night sinner. Nash has rolled up a musical joint of psychedelic Texas pop music of the highest order, conjuring comparisons to such touchstones as Gene Clark, Neil Young and, at points, The Beatles. The album’s title, Lifted, say it all. Nash has clearly found a way to escape mundane woes and existential worries, and now he’s inviting us all to visit his Shangri-la. The starting point for the journey is Plum Creek Sound, Dripping Springs, west of Austin.
Thank your luck stars that there are people out there making records like this, providing a map to the back roads and byways of the cosmic countryside, taking a left turn at the right time. I have no hesitation in saying that this album will be with me for years to come.