Now that the summer solstice is behind us, and we begin the slow slide to shorter days, it is high time to announce the exquisite third solo album by Nathan Bowles (Steve Gunn, Pelt, Black Twig Pickers), now available to pre-order.
On Whole & Cloven, Nathan again augments his mesmeric clawhammer banjo pieces with piano, percussion, and vocals. Instead of the programmatic place-based narratives of its predecessor Nansemond (PoB-16), Whole & Cloven offers a stoic meditation on absence, loss, and fragmentation, populating those experiential gaps—the weighty interstices and places in-between—with stillness and wonder. Straddling Appalachian string band music and avant-garde composition but beholden to neither idiom, Nathan proves himself heir to deconstructivist tradition-bearers like Henry Flynt and Jack Rose.
PRE-ORDER LP ($18), CD ($13), or both ($25):
Pre-orders include an immediate 320k MP3 download of “Gadarene Fugue,” which the good people at NPR Music’s Songs We Love have premiered here, saying:
“Nathan Bowles spends his third solo album, Whole & Cloven, splitting the difference between Jack Rose-ian acoustic romps and Henry Flynt-y drone jigs. Bowles’ “Gadarene Fugue” isn’t actually a fugue, but it does whip a meditative clawhammer banjo melody into a fury. With light percussion that clacks and shuffles in the background, a Gnawan-influenced bass line jolts the tune forward like swine compelled to run and drown in the river.”
– Lars Gotrich, NPR Music
The LP, pressed on 140g virgin vinyl, features a heavy-duty 24pt reverse board matte jacket (with artwork by John Henry Toney), printed inner sleeve, and download code. The CD edition is housed in a heavy-duty gatefold jacket. We anticipate shipping pre-orders about a week in advance of the Sept. 2 release date. All pre-order customers will be entered in a drawing for a Whole & Cloven test pressing or PoB t-shirt.
Catch Nathan behind the drum kit, and wielding his banjo, on tour now with Steve Gunn and the Outliners. He’s also opening their Montreal show at La Vitrola, this Sunday, June 26 (with Promised Land Sound.) Mark your calendars for the album release show on Sept. 8 on the porch of the Love House at the Center for the Study for the American South, UNC–Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.
ACCLAIM FOR NATHAN BOWLES
“Nathan’s music is marked by both his deep study of vernacular American forms and his years-long dedication to the development of his own voice. He is a musician who respects tradition as he values experimentation, an artist whose work commands careful listening. This balance is what makes Nathan’s voice singular: as a player, he is fearless, challenging. And as a listener, I am grateful and inspired.” – Steve Gunn“Wry, sad, troubled, and mesmeric compositions imbued with a spooked and grainy Appalachian potency. Rich chaparrals of deep buzzing color you could lose yourself in forever.” – MOJO
“He could play forever without boring himself or anyone listening.” – Pitchfork
“Stunning. A Terrence Malick film with just a handful of strings.” – Steven Hyden
“I have huge respect for Nathan as a musician on so many levels.” – Michael Chapman
“Nathan Bowles is like my spirit animal. It’s the real shit … beautiful then, beautiful now. Timeless.” – Kurt Vile