Nathan Hussey – Ground Me
Record Label: Favorite Gentlemen
Release Date: August 6, 2013
All Get Out have literally been everywhere since their 2011 debut album, The Season. I mean seriously, it feels like these guys have been on the road non-stop for two years, with everyone from La Dispute to Anberlin to Lydia and more. Still, somehow among all of those tours and traveling, frontman Nathan Hussey managed to find time to pen another ten fantastic songs that make up his first solo album, Ground Me. At this point, I have only one question: How the hell did he find the time to compose these superb songs?
Hussey is a man that deserves way more credit as a songwriter than he gets, and hopefully Ground Me will allow this to happen. He deserves to be up there with the likes of Andy Hull and Kevin Devine, no questions asked. The Season features some of the most witty and downright brilliant lyrics in recent memory, and it’s no surprise that this record also carries the same intelligence and sharp tongue. However, the difference is very notable early on – this is very much a more folk-rock record than a rock n’ roll one.
From the moment opener “Angry Man” begins, you realize this. With just a consistent guitar strum, Hussey opens the album with one of the most memorable songs he’s written, as he nearly forces a sly smirk as he sings: “Angry man punching walls / Show the oak just who is boss / Good idea / A new career / Break your hand / And then applaud.” Such a suave bite, that line has. Similarly, “Persona Non Grata” is one of the darkest songs here, relying very little on instrumentation and instead making sure Hussey’s words have the spotlight. When Hussey sings, “I’m trying to call / Just to see if you’d talk / You don’t have to / If you don’t want to / You don’t need to” before distressingly concluding with “Why don’t you call / Why won’t you call,” the unnerving hollowness further carries across this sense of desperation. As a result, the pain and sting of these words literally just hangs in the air.
Few songwriters can make you battle which part of a song is the most memorable, but Hussey does just that with “Intervention.” At first, I thought for sure the line “No one listens to you talk when you are young” would resonate most with me for this song – but then the rest of the song happens. Hussey sings the chorus with the same near-breaking anxiety that we fell in love with on The Season, before slowing it down while hitting previously unmatched high notes as a brooding guitar line gives the aforementioned lyric even more weight.
While most of the record takes a gradual, gloomy, and folk-influenced path, Hussey does have a handful of tricks up his sleeve. The groovy “No One” begins with an unexpected synth. The track almost has a pop vibe to it, being probably the most chorus-driven song on the album, due mainly to lyric repetition and the weaving synth that follows. “Ground Me” works similarly, using a carefree guitar rhythm to buoy it in the sun, while “Neat” is another burst of sunlight, this time employing charming humming. Hussey also deserves every compliment for his vocal range throughout the record, with the high notes on “Long Bad Days” and “Ravenel” being downright chilling and awe-inspiring moments.
From the witty opening stanza of “Angry Man” through the rhythmic, toe-tapping drums on “What Do You Know,” Nathan Hussey has crafted yet another masterpiece with Ground Me, this time operating the ship on his own. For only having ten tracks, this album takes a lot of listens to really digest due to the overall heaviness of the words, tones, and themes throughout it. Have no fear though – it’s worth every second. Each listen you’ll discover another favorite lyric or measure, something I still do with The Season. Whether you’re a fan of All Get Out or just a casual listener, give this a thorough listen, as Ground Me is one of the most impressive records of the year, further proving Nathan Hussey’s unwavering talent.
This is just a wonderful, amazing lyrically brilliant album! This is what I was hoping for from the 3rd installment of the RA!GC trilogy, It's amazing that a guy that' basically just starting can not only put out 2 amazing releases but even top one of my favorite artists of all time (Andy Hull.)
My Vote... Bad Books 3 feat. Nathan Hussey!!