doesn't waste any time setting the tone for his transfixing new album, Some Mad Hope
. Diving headlong into a sea of chiming guitars, the San Francisco-based singer-songwriter breathlessly declares "I'm wide awake and so alive" -- the opening lines of "Car Crash" serving as a statement of emotional clarity that permeates the disc's every groove.
Some Mad Hope, Nathanson's sixth studio album (and first for Vanguard), is in many ways his most fully realized work to date. Recorded over the past two and a half years, the 12-song set displays a sonic depth that dovetails perfectly with what he admits is a newfound songwriting confidence.
"Every time I make a record, I think 'this is it!'" Nathanson says with a laugh. "But I don't think I really understood how to make a record until this one. The process and the result had much more of a dynamic to it -- we weren't just presenting songs -- it felt like the longest childbirth in the history of childbirths, but by the end, we really got it."