Letters from the Lost

Letters from the Lost

With Jay Nash’s fifth studio album, the Los Angeles troubadour has honed his talent for blending classic country with folk and rock to forge his own style. Though the opening song, “Wander,” is tangled in the tones of American roots music, Nash’s songwriting has a foundation of melancholy indie that’s sometimes reminiscent of early Coldplay and The Bends–era Radiohead. “Twist My Arm” follows with kitchen-sink percussion bolstered to bouncy parlor piano. Here his vocals take on a deeper and more guttural timbre, informed by Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder—though his ramshackle Basement Tapes–inspired sound collages bump into innovative production tricks that owe more to Gomez. “White Whale” ushers in more professional-sounding drums that gallop like horses alongside electric guitar that may have used distorted feedback that sounds like the mating calls of those sea mammals. In the standout “Art Thief,” Nash reflects on a real-life event involving a San Francisco man who stole a Picasso before fleeing to Marin in a cab.

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