“You’re My Lady” (SINGLE/VIDEO) by Neil Nathan
70s folk and pop/rock themes have been swelling in popularity once again this year, but of the specific throwbacks that I’ve been listening to in the past couple of months, I can’t say there’s been another quite like Neil Nathan’s intriguing new single and music video “You’re My Lady.” Released this July, Nathan’s soft-rocking ballad has all the bells and whistles of an old school folk-rocker, but with a distinctly high-def finish that isn’t present on any classic station I listen to. It’s a loving homage to the past, but one that I don’t find to be irrelevant to fans of the present at all.
This vocal is gentle and homespun, and I love how well it harmonizes with the adjacent acoustic guitar in the mix. There’s not a lot of melodic separation between the strings and the singer here, but this isn’t because of any bleeding in the track – quite the opposite, truth be told. Every instrumental component of the song has a unique place in the arrangement that never spills into the vocal’s center stage locale in the mix, and yet the power in this track is sourced from the force of the whole band rather than one specific focal point in the music.
The guitar parts contribute a lovely, playful quality to the narrative that makes the lyrics a little smoother and less robotic than they would have been with a more streamlined set of strings behind them, and it’s details like this that really show off how meticulous a singer/songwriter we’re dealing with here. I had never listened to Nathan before coming across this track on referral from a colleague in journalism, but I could instantly tell that he’s got a greater investment in the intricacies of his sound than the majority of the players in his scene do these days.
I will say that despite the DIY feel of the master mix in this song, I think it was more than necessary to go with a raw production look rather than something neatly polished if for no other reason than to protect the authentic texture of these instruments. You can’t listen to “You’re My Lady” and tell me that it doesn’t sound like Neil Nathan and his band are playing this single in your living room as opposed to over stereo speakers, and it’s all because of the unrelentingly full-bodied tones we’re getting from the mix.
Neil Nathan is making easy-listening music great again this summer, and if you’re a casual fan of folky pop harmonies, I have a feeling you’re going to find him to be just as much a gem as I did recently. “You’re My Lady” is soft, simplistic, and brutally disconnected from mainstream pop concepts to such a degree that I don’t think any critic would ever dream of tying its aesthetical construction to any present trends in the American underground today. Nathan is his own songwriter and very much playing by his own, retro rules here, and I like where his approach is taking him.