Thursday, September 1, 2016
Cassette Review: Nature's Neighbor "Pidji" (Sooper Records)
[$6 // Edition of 100 // https://sooperrecords.bandcamp.com/album/pidji]
I've always seen these sorts of question posed about whether Mother Nature and Father Time are related and why aren't there more things out there with such titles, but I've never really thought about nature as having a neighbor. The only thing I can imagine is if you think of being out in nature such as being in the woods or even just living somewhere rural then I suppose the neighbor of that could be a developed land-- not even just the city per se but the suburbs would even likely count. Which is funny because one of the first comparisons I made to this cassette musically was Ben Folds and he's rockin' the suburbs.
Through acoustic rock and melodic harmonies, Nature's Neighbor can find their way easily into dreamy bliss. With notable drums and a big sound overall comes the obligatory EFS comparison and then I am also reminded of acoustic Local H songs such as "No Problem". Hints of the more recent American Anymen (whom I fell in love with within the past month or so) make their way out on the first side as well. Other instruments can come into play and that reminds me of Blue October (who can also rock that acoustic sound) and by the end of Side A I feel like we're part of a trippy lullaby ala Pink Floyd or The Who.
On the flip side there are more straight up acoustic sounds and it seems to take a turn from the somewhat modern (because how modern really are some of my references in the previous paragraph?) to a more classic rock sound. Backing vocals and paired vocals can come in and they are of a female sense, which is first delivered as a slight taste before becoming a companion to the male vocals and I really like how they are developed as such-- not just thrown in at random or feeling too out of place.
From that Radiohead sound to something like "Wish You Were" here, this just becomes one of the most chill yet beautiful cassettes I've ever heard. I'm not a huge Radiohead fan by any means, but I like "Paranoid Android" and if we could time travel back to that point in their career and have them cover "Wish You Were Here", yeah, it wouldn't be needed now since we have Nature's Neighbor.
Overall, you can think of Nature's Neighbor as being an acoustic rock band at their core but as you listen to this cassette you will find that they are really so much more than that. I made the Ben Folds comparison at the start and I think it would be interesting to hear Nature's Neighbor cover that particular song because they could sing "We're rocking the suburbs / Just like Ben Folds did / We're rocking the suburbs / Except we're multi-talented".