Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Gretchen's Wheel, Moth To Lamplight: A Nada Surf Tribute, 2019

Album Review

By Henry Lipput

It really should be called Gretchen's Surf.

Lindsay Murray, the singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist (She's been playing everything on Gretchen's Wheel albums except the drums, which are played by the chap-in-the-cupboard and co-producer Nick Bertling.), has recorded Moth To Lamplight, a tribute to the splendid songs of Nada Surf.

It's no surprise that Murray does such a great job with covers. Her version of Matthew Sweet's "Walk Out" was a highlight of last year's Futureman Records' tribute album Altered Sweet. She has also released two excellent albums (Sad Scientist and Black Box Theory) and an EP (awry)  in the last two years. You should really check these out. Black Box Theory was one of my favorite albums of 2018.

I've been a fan of Nada Surf since 2002's Let Go. It's still on of my favorites from the band, and if I were going to disagree with Murray about her choice of songs on Moth, it would be the exclusion of "Blonde on Blonde" from Let Go. In addition, I have occasionally referred to the distinctive sound of Matthew Caws's guitars in my reviews of releases by other bands.

Murray provides intelligent covers of "Killian's Red" (Let Go) and "See These Bones" (Lucky). But she's accomplished something of a musical mind-meld on a few of the early Nada Surf songs I'm not familiar with like "Amateur" and "No Quick Fix" as well as "Believe You're Mine" and "Rushing" from 2016's You Know Who You Are.

This connection is so strong that there were times when I could forget that it was a Nada Surf song and think I was listening to a brand new song by Gretchen's Wheel. So, because the name Nada Wheel just doesn't sound right, the new band name of Gretchen's Surf makes all the sense in the world.

Moth To Lamplight: A Tribute to Nada Surf is out now on Futureman Records.

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