Capturing beautifully the precise energy and realness of their vast experiences as street performers, this self titled EP from New York six piece The Good Morning Nags offers audiences an authentic, uplifting experience, which brings together elements of a number of acoustically vibrant genres.
The project features three original songs and four unique adaptations. The soundscapes as a collective fuse the raw and upbeat bounce of folk rock with the emotional and melodic flow of country and the colour and instrumental detail of bluegrass. Every track leads you through some new moment, guided by supremely masterful performances, exciting riffs, and an overall tightness between band members – it makes for just about the closest you’ll get to a live show from the comfort of your own home. Although, it has to be said, if the opportunity arises – make sure you go out and get involved; nothing will fully embrace you like a real time performance.
Beginning with Sugar Baby, the concept and the melody, the set up and structure, the meeting of voices, the final vocal evolution – it’s a great way to start and it really soaks you in all that is the band’s energy and approach to musical expression. Blackberry Bush follows with its impeccable, fast-paced instrumental journey – the sort that makes you feel as if you’re dancing or flying through the fields on some beautiful day.
The pace remains fairly high for Mount Holler – the country rock vibe is strong, the lyrics captivate, the sheer vibrancy and movement of the music surrounds you entirely; creating that ideal escapism that we hope for in music. Love Like No Other brings a contrastingly mellow and even melancholy tone, laying bare a softly passionate leading voice and a few carefully selected, beautifully presented instruments.
Cripple Creek is another beauty, bright and upbeat, creatively structured so as to keep things consistently interesting – with various new voices and moments, break downs and build ups, as well as some superb story telling; all of which is loaded with character. Following this, I Wish My Baby Was Born comes through as an almost a capella performance at first, accompanied gradually by a simple, single string section, and a few gorgeous yet subtle harmonies. The song is notably sombre and reflective in a way that really stands out among the lightness and volume of the surrounding songs. And then once again, the final brightness and colour of closing song Good Morning Girl brings things back up a few notches to make sure the project goes out with a bang.
In essence, this EP gives listeners a series of well captured moments which are really well arranged. The varying voices and performance styles of each musician involved fit gorgeously together, the skills showcased are forever impressive, and the song choices follow on from one another in a perfectly fitting manner yet remain eclectic enough to always keep your attention. All in all it makes for a distinctly enjoyable, go-to playlist – the sort that would fill an evening at home as optimistically as it would one out and about with friends. A must-have for the year ahead.