Michael Nau’s Mowing LP, out February 19 on Suicide Squeeze Records, is a collection of old songs written with a bunch of different people in a bunch of different places (Vermont, Tennessee, Connecticut, Maryland) while on tour with Cotton Jones (the band Nau and his girlfriend Whitney McGraw formed together). This is the first time Nau is releasing music under his own name.
Premiering today is "Smooth Aisles," which is just as lush and breezy as its title suggests, and features McGraw's silky backing vocals. The song recalls cadences of 1970s Ned Doheny and solo David Byrne, with a hint of Brian Wilson, but with a seamless blend that makes its sound a bit hard to pinpoint. It seems to be hanging in the clouds above time, just out of reach but ever so calmingly familiar.
"I find that I can talk a lot about the process of recording music, and the people involved—that's what I find most intriguing," Nau wrote to The FADER in an email, reflecting on the process of recording Mowing. "It could have gone a number of ways, but it came out like this on this day, with this group. The most fun I've had, in a while, recording. I believe we did five songs in about eight hours. We just played music. There was nothing stressful about it. It wasn't until the ride home that I thought about any of it and it kind of changed my whole musical perspective. I learned a lot of common sense stuff by just chilling out a bit, and giving up any idea I had of how it's supposed to be."
Stream "Smooth Aisles" below, and pre-order Mowing here.