Arthur Nasson: Echo Garden

Videos by American Songwriter

Arthur Nasson
Echo Garden
Philistine Records
[Rating: 3.5 stars]

Boston singer/songwriter Arthur Nasson has been releasing albums since the late 1990s, and after being featured on a profile-raising segment of NPR’s “Here and Now” in 2005, has been garnering more notice as a versatile and gifted pop eccentric. On this generous 18-track release, Nasson demonstrates his range, and proves adept at a number of styles, from sophisticated, spirited keyboard pounders a la Joe Jackson (“Bounce”), to bright, soca-flavored pop (“The Other Side”), to glitchy technopop (“Bubblefish Part One”), to old-timey stride piano rambles (“Psych Ward”). Where Nasson shines brightest is as a crafter of classic electronic music, several cinematic examples of which are found here. The title of the album comes from a lovely mid-album synth meditation that gets reconfigured a few tracks later into a baroque instrumental, and then transforms into a pretty slice of Curt Boettcher sunshine pop with a wild prog-rock freak-out at the end. True to the title, Nasson creates a spacey, reverb-drenched atmosphere throughout. His “garden” is a riot of hothouse specimens, rare and lovely.

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