Cosmos-wrangling Americana upstart Israel Nash returns from Texas Hill Country with his Silver Season, a deeply gorgeous and wholly immersive nine-song set that plays less like an album, and more like a cross section of time and space. The man’s fourth LP ventures farther down the acid-soaked trail blazed by 2013’s Rain Plans, arriving in lush and expansive territory. Here, this Missouri son sounds more assured than ever, supported by his highly capable band and production inspired by psychedelic greats. Israel Nash’s Silver Seasonis best played loudly, and sounds wonderful in headphones.
Like the record before it, this one was made on Nash’s 15-acre swath of land in Dripping Springs, Texas, with one key difference. WhileRain Plans was recorded inside of the new home he shared with his then-pregnant wife, Silver Season was born in the studio Nash built outside and named Plum Creek Sound, a 1,400 square-foot Quonset erected in March. The band was ready to begin in late May when the floods came, filling the building with water and muck. Nash and the boys pushed on anyhow. Digging trenches, hauling sandbags, clearing mud, and plugging in—that’s how they made an album, doing what needed to be done.
The end result isn’t so terrestrial, however. Silver Season billows outward with its opening song, “Willow.” A swirl of keys, bass, pedal steel, acoustic strum, and languid drums envelop the listener as Nash’s cooed poetry recontextualizes the world through his daughter’s eyes. A shimmery Morricone-like passage carries us into “Parlour Song,” which sounds a little like Neil Young leading Tame Impala. “Sooner or later we’ll surrender our guns/But not until we’ve shot everyone,” Nash sings. And while the line would fit into a celebratory tale about Old West outlaws, it’s actually a modern lament.
From the warm drift and easy elasticity of “Strangers” (one of two cuts that verge on seven minutes) to the holler-along gospel of “The Rag & Bone Man,” Silver Season feels like a living thing. That’s a product of the wild five-man sessions that took place in the sweltering Quonset (with beer breaks, and slingshot target practice using the empties). It’s also due to the care put into taming all of that good noise, with engineer Ted Young (Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth) returning to the mix. The analog hum grounds the guitar wizardry, while the depth of sound ties the band to the pasture that surrounds.
It makes sense that Nash would come into his own out there. He was raised in the Ozarks amidst hills and farmland. Other things add up too. His pastor father and artist mother were very much children of the ’60s. Dad bought him Sgt. Pepper’s when he was 10, Mom handed him an electric guitar at 11, and Nash was writing songs by 12. And while he’s grown away from the religion he was raised under, Nash’s music is nothing if not spiritual. The spirit just comes from a different place—nature, family, song, and the occasional trip into times and spaces we can’t normally access. Hidden within the folds of Silver Season, Nash’s weather-beaten voice says it best:
“I don’t live like the others/I see twice as many colors.”
“ ...work of heart-swelling beauty.” - KEXP
“Nash deftly mixes Americana, outlaw country and psychedelic rock.” - The Current
“If his last album, Rain Plans, was a refreshing spring shower, Silver Season unleashes a flood of expansive rock.” - Bruce Warren, WXPN
”Weaving together rich layers of trancelike harmony and instrumentation, Dripping Springs resident Nash and his band create a sound that stands out among younger-generation Austin-area rock acts.” – Austin American Statesman
"Nash continues his adventures in stargazing Americana that seems to drift in and out of dream states. The songs are grounded in country and folk but shot through with psychedelic sprawl." - Boston Globe
“Israel Nash has a way of making music into movies. His songs are staged with luxurious swashes of sound, his vocals slowing unfolding stories steeped in daily life mysticism giving the simple steps we take a greater importance. The music drifts like mist from the clouds of audio smoke rising from its instruments…” - The Alternate Root
“...his unique way of approaching Americana, country, psychedelia, and folk speaks for itself…” - Flood Magazine
“...Silver Season is at once expansive and cinematic, yet intimate and introspective – a gorgeous project that reflects the group’s maturation and cohesiveness.” - Best New Bands
“ ...a collection of songs from the heart, propelled by haunting harmonica, gripping pedal steel and Nash's silky voice.” - Guide Live, Dallas Morning News
“…on tracks like “The Fire & The Flood,” Nash lets his voice dip into its natural register, revealing an artist with his own vision. Lap-steel sunbursts abound, but they’re stretched to psychedelic ends and plunged into multi-instrumental jams that resemble Phosphorescent.” - No Depression
“Like the weather and most of Nash’s growing catalogue, Silver Season is full of lush, whirling sounds that are nearly impossible to imitate, but sound equally atmospheric alone on a porch or through high quality headphones.” – Old Rookie
“the hugely impressive widescreen vibes of Israel Nash's Silver Season are a revelation” ★★★★ The Line Of Best Fit