“With bright harmonica bursts and shadowy lyrics, the music serves as both a reverent nod to Xander’s influences and a window into his own individualism. This is a delicate balance; many a young songwriter apes his predecessors at the cost of ingenuity, and perhaps even more plunge into the waters with little knowledge of the debt they owe to their forebears. Xander walks the line ably, dancing slowly with the past but moving surely toward the future.” – C.T. Heany, 89.3 WNUR
After releasing a 7” of two new arrangements of previous songs in 2010, the studio where New York singer-songwriter Nathan Xander was recording was struck by lightning, and he lost eight finished songs that were to comprise the follow up to his sophomore record, The Fear. It’s been three years of waiting for a new full-length LP, but after a year of sporadic recording in Brooklyn and Chicago, it’s finally here.
Shifting around geographically over the years, from his small hometown of Union City, PA to Pittsburgh to Chicago, he now lives in New York, where he’s been writing new material and playing shows. While many liken him to Bob Dylan and early Ryan Adams, his unique finger picking and lyrics create a sound undeniably his own, drawing from a mix of every band that he’s ever listened to twice. Laid back, confident, and brutally honest, he delivers just as much with his guitar as he does with his words, and his accompanying band adds a depth and poignancy to his songs that distinguishes him from traditional Americana.
His third self-titled record, set for release on September 1, 2012, retains the distinct, smart combinations of guitar, harmonica, and drums of previous recordings, but with lyrics more focused and less fragile. When asked about the tone of the record, Xander responded, ”It was sort of spiteful at first. I had a few songs written in Chicago after I’d been cut loose from a relationship. The girl and I decided to try it again, so I dumped the band and moved to New York. The same thing happened for the 2nd or 3rd time a few months later, and it’s like I was trying to talk myself out of a situation I didn’t want to be in anymore. Trying to get these songs out as a sort of release. I was feeling really bad when I started recording, and I put them all together because the album was writing itself one after the other.”