Nina Nastasia - Blackened Air [Clear Vinyl] | RECORD STORE DAY
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Reissued on limited edition 180 gram Clear vinyl. On The Blackened Air (her second album but first for Touch and Go, originally released in 2002), Nina Nastasia and her band are not content to just support a vocal melody; they pry it apart and look down it's throat. The stringed and wind instruments (viola, cello, mandolin, accordion, bowed saw, acoustic and electric guitars) reach up out of the songs into rarefied territory. Little stories of Peeping Toms and the police lights they bring with them, graveyards and impolite family, epigrams against disaster, depression, simple forgetfulness, all delivered so effortlessly that the precision of the delivery registers long after it's substance has left it's mark. When she sings "I'm not hiding anything / I'm not trying to fool you at all," in a song titled "That's All There Is," it is all the truth. A generation-plus of young troubadours pine for things they never had to lose, as if sadness and depression were inevitable consequences of being alive. Nastasia's music is an antidote to all of that. The Blackened Air is a darkish record not just in title, but by examining everything without caving in to decadence or solipsism, it is a rejuvenating experience. It is informed, without affect, unique, and succinct. Above all, it is beautiful to hear and a pleasure to have in one's home.