Nathan Mathes has been writing and performing music under the radar in Wisconsin for nearly fifteen years. In 2010, after spending most of his career fronting indie-rock bands, Mathes released his first solo album, American Whitecaps. His music can best be described as indie folk-rock, featuring songs that are driven by acoustic guitar and subdued, heartfelt vocals. With the release of American Whitecaps people have finally begun to take notice of his work:
"In the world of blogging, artists like Nathan Mathes only cross your path every now and then…You won’t hear many better debut albums this year!" - BatteryInYourLeg.com (2010)
"This is the kind of album that makes us glad we continue to write about music because if we didn't...it would be very unlikely that we would be turned onto obscure gems like this." - Babysue.com (2010)
“Nathan Mathes has it going.” - Fingtertips.com (2010)
Hoping to build on this momentum from 2010, Mathes has assembled his most accessible collection of songs to date for his second album, Roselawn. Mathes has drawn very clear inspiration for Roselawn from his love for his wife Jane and a newly-realized contentment with his life. As with American Whitecaps, Mathes recorded Roselawn at home in his basement studio. Mathes is joined by Jane who sings and plays percussion on several tracks. Roselawn was mixed by Justin Perkins and Mathes at The Mystery Room, Milwaukee, with Perkins also handling the mastering duties.
2011 is shaping up to be a big year. Roselawn is slated for a fall release, and Mathes has plans to follow that up with a Midwest tour later. His music will soon be featured on Public Television’s Roadtrip Nation and in the independent movie Naked As We Came In.
Nathan Mathes - Vocals, All instruments
Roselawn - 2011
American Whitecaps - 2010
Maybe We're In Love
Just As Long As I Got You
Only One (You're My Only One)
Reaching And Bracing On The Stool
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A true independent release from a true independent artist. Green Bay, Wisconsin's Nathan Mathes has ...A true independent release from a true independent artist. Green Bay, Wisconsin's Nathan Mathes has recorded and released a totally cool and credible debut album entitled American Whitecaps...This is the kind of album that makes us glad we continue to write about music because if we didn't...it would be very unlikely that we would be turned onto obscure gems like this. Nathan's songs are pure and simple...driven by acoustic guitar and some wonderfully subdued and heartfelt vocals. A lot of folks recording at home come up with shoddy material that would be best left on their hard drives...but that is definitely not the case here. Mr. Mathes writes songs that rival stuff being released on music labels of any size. The more we spin this one...the better it sounds...Top pick.
“The Sea Is Ridge” (From American Whitecaps)
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The whispery tenor singer/songwriter who holes himself up in a room and records an album is by now a...The whispery tenor singer/songwriter who holes himself up in a room and records an album is by now a lasting icon of ’00s indie music (thank you, Sam Beam; you too, Justin Vernon), with no sign yet of abating in the new decade. It is very easy to be tired of this type of musician in theory and very hard—believe me, I’ve tried—to overlook one when he’s got it going. And maybe it’s a fine line between having it going and having it gone. Or never arriving.
But Nathan Mathes has it going. One thing I like is the crispness of both the song and the sound (after, that is, the opening 13 seconds of white noise). Guitars are chunky but clear, the subdued bass and drums anchor the mix without dragging everything into a muddy bottom, leaving a light, uncluttered sonic space through which the unpretentious melody ambles. Lyrics are intriguingly difficult to decipher, but it’s not because Mathes mumbles or buries his voice—if you’re not paying attention at first, in fact, you’d think the lyrics were clear as can be. Only when you go back to listen do you realize you can barely make out a word. That kind of elusiveness I can get behind. The song casts a humble spell; there is nothing immediately special about it except for an ineffable sense that there is in fact something special about it. Okay, guys, you can keep your laptops. Just get some fresh air every now and then.
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The album as a whole comes across in a more than pleasing way on my ear and the production is as goo...The album as a whole comes across in a more than pleasing way on my ear and the production is as good if not better than many major’s manage. You won’t hear many better debut albums this year!
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