|Matt NathansonAt the core of Nathanson's music are his lyrics -- deft turns of phrase that can alternately cut deep into the heart or heal it. That's evident throughout Some Mad Hope, a song cycle of sorts that chronicles the search for a genuine connection, touching on the sensually electric moments as well as the darker frustrations of sifting through the wreckage -- in hopes of finding redemption at the end of the day."I definitely think of the album as capturing the arc of a relationship," says the Boston native. "It starts out on a positive note and it goes to some really dark places. But after touching bottom, there's a sense of optimism in the end. Maybe coming from a realization that two people can be a team, not just two individuals who happen to be together."From the gentle string washes that lap the edges of "Heartbreak World" (a song that balances wistful backward glances with gingerly-held hope of better things to come) to the insistent rhythmic pulse that drives the wind-at-the-back anthem "Detroit Waves," Nathanson demonstrates a mesmerizing attention to detail. Each of Some Mad Hope's dozen songs exudes a distinct personality -- a dynamic that can't help but draw the listener in."In a lot of ways, the album is about learning what a relationship really can be," he says. "Some people deal with that when they're 20, some people deal with it in their thirties and some people never do -- writing and recording these songs genuinely left me with the feeling that, 'wow, this is a real step forward for me, both as an artist and as a person.'"