Thursday, May 17, 2007

The National Lights

The National Lights, from Richmond, Virginia, have released an album called The Dead Will Walk, Dear, on BloodShake Records, and it's lovely (in a full moon shining through the pine trees in a lonely forest in Kentucky sort of way.) I have found myself listening to it a lot lately - in the car, on my way to work, on my computer at work. One song flows into another so seamlessy that the album seems to be over in the space of time one song usually takes.
Everything works: the 21st-century folk arrangements, the self-assured production by Chris Kiehne Jr., the background vocals by Sonya Cotton.
What I love best is the way the warm, accessible melodies by group leader Jacob Thomas Berns very sneakily suck you in, and then you slowly become aware that most of Berns' songs are about death and dying. The Dead Will Walk, Dear is an album that wraps itself around you. It's only later that you realize you are being warmed by a shroud.
I am hesitant to post a single song, because, as I said, one of the album's strengths is its cohesiveness. It really should be heard in its entirety. But what the hell, here is the first track.
National Lights - Better For It, Kid
Order the album here.
Learn more about the band here.