4.5 stars out of 5
There is an extremely admirable authenticity that pervades much of John Lindenbaum’s albums. Whether it is with his former group Rust Belt Music, current side project The Lonelyhearts or with Nadalands, Lindenbaum’s songwriting consistently holds a significant validity, nonchalantly driving the listener to attend intently to each unfolding narrative. The same is true of Nadalands’ most recent release The Arbor Day EP, backed by Benjamin Buttice (Sour Boy, Bitter Girl) on drums and Matt Schild (The Morning Clouds) on bass. Each song drives a pensive hypnotism, perhaps as Megafaun or Yo La Tengo might, weaving behind storied lyrics and melancholy one-liners (God is love and God is dead, so it’s not looking good for love, you said). There is much to be heard in Lindenbaum’s lyrics and lessons, might it be in death, love or the growth of the urban slum.