David Nail’s Impressive New Album Out Today

Posted by Greg on Sep 14, 2018 in Music |

We’re big fans of singer-songwriter David Nail and still remain baffled as to why he hasn’t garnered more accolades and fans. After four country albums with major labels, he is now an independent musician and today launches his new project, David Nail & The Well Ravens. The debut album Only This And Nothing More is a marked departure from his prior catalog. To put it simply, it sounds little, if anything, like modern country music.

Album opener “The Gun” is cinematic, moody and nocturnal. Buttressed by contemplate verses it is a haunting song about family violence that unfortunately has tragic consequences. Arguably his strongest vocal to date “The Gun” is easily one of the strongest songs Nail has ever written and the first indication that this is a very different David Nail than we are used to hearing.

Lead single “Heavy” hangs on Nail’s soulful vocals but veers more towards arena-rock with atmospheric guitars that feel more akin to Kings of Leon or Coldplay. Nail has long championed being an outsider and delights in keeping his music fresh and surprising. Whether tracks like “Heavy” will resonate with the country music crowd remains to be seen, but we are certainly eager to see where this journey heads. “Come Back Around” features verses that sound like Springsteen but has a swelling chorus that’s more akin to Keane and Snow Patrol than say Luke Bryan or Florida Georgia Line (FGL). Then again, that can only be a good thing. There’s only so many Luke Bryan or FGL songs we can tolerate.

The scuzzy garage blues-cut “Whiet Trash Girl” borrows a vibe from The Black Keys but the song is so snarky and biting it could be considered mildly offensive. For an artist who has always worn his charm on his sleeve and been very mild-mannered, the pointed nature of “White Trash Girl” is a bit alarming, but then again maybe that’s the point.

The album’s apex is the waltz-like “Cheating On Me,” which in some ways feels like a companion to his 2011 single “Let it Rain,” only this time the finger is pointed at the woman. Sung with conviction and grit, it is another remarkable cut from an artist who has yet to release a dud. The mid-tempo and meandering “Over” is more or less an epilogue to “Cheating on Me” and at times the song vacillates towards mundanity. It’s not that the material isn’t fresh or intriguing it’s just that the song feels like it is plodding along.

The album ends with what is easily the best song Nail has ever written and without a doubt his most personal. Having spoken out publicly about his battle with depression, Nail commits those feelings to the song “In My Head” in this tormented ballad that is timeless, aching and utterly masterful. In short, it’s a modern day classic and a song that needs to sweep both the blogosphere and social media like wildfire. As our nation continues to grapple with how to talk about mental health, a ballad like “In My Head” is an important and valuable tool in making those strides.

While Only Thing and Nothing More might be a tough sell for the country folks, there’s still a significant chance at the album faring well over at the AAA circuit. Here’s hoping exactly that happens.

Raise ‘em up for David Nail this weekend. Raise ‘em up high.


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