Texas’ genre-bending rock ‘n’ roller Israel Nash presents his latest long play, Lifted. It is a modern day hippie-spiritual, a tonic for those needing to put aside the mess of the daily grind. With luscious beds of strings, horns and well adorned towering walls of sound, Lifted finds Nash continuing his tradition of creating a sonic experience of feeling that is at once both vast and intimate - soaring and untamed at times, placid and sincerely personal at others.
Originally from the Ozarks of Missouri, Israel Nash has made his home in Dripping Springs, Texas for the greater part of a decade. There, on his ranch with sweeping views of the Texas Hill Country, the tall, hirsute mountain man built his own studio; a Quonset hut structure he’s dubbed Plum Creek Sound. The studio became a sanctuary, a creative outlet where Nash reached a meditative state of escapism, which ultimately became the inspiration behind Lifted. The creative process of writing, recording and producing Lifted allowed Nash to leave his own downhearted feelings about the political landscape of the recent elections and the deeper queries of purpose and life that supersede the material world. Nash wrote and recorded Lifted with the intention of achieving a sonic experience that will elevate the listener - that the feeling of peace, love and happiness which saturates the words and music can provide the same escape he achieved while creating the LP.
Being able to finally use Plum Creek Sound to its utmost, Nash incorporated found sounds and field recordings from his Texas ranch to create a setting of the sounds that represent his Hill Country life. Drums played in rain collection tanks, water rushing against the limestone, frogs and crickets in their habitats, and even a curious, yet guarded rattlesnake, all appear throughout the record. Inspired by methods pioneered by John Cage, Nash also randomized sounds and music and rearranged them according to the I Ching (The Book of Changes). Utilizing these recording and tracking techniques help create a sonic and very present picture of Nash’s home and his life. Accompanied by his longtime band, with arrangements by Jesse Chandler (Mercury Rev, Midlake), horns by members of Austin’s cumbia/funk compadre’s Grupo Fantasma, and strings from Kelsey Wilson and Sadie Wolf of indie pop’s Wild Child, Nash, alongside co-producer and engineer Ted Young (Kurt Vile, The Rolling Stones), presents an album that soars as a masterwork of American roots songs, meticulously crafted and gently sprinkled with life meaning and multi-hued rock and psychedelia.
“It’s all about finding, searching for little sparks of inspiration. It may be a sound, a groove, a color, or even an object. Old things are inspiring. Whatever it is, when you find it, it spreads like a conflagration that is out of your control. It doesn’t matter if you’re making a record or living your life, find these inspirations with a vigil eye and watch them change both you and your world.”
Lifted opens with an extended instrumental introduction, preparing the listener to get comfortable and settle in for the journey ahead, before blossoming into “Rolling On.” It’s a manifesto, a hearty breath of rock goodness, clean air for all that follows. A sing-along anthem