Music » Critics' Picks

John Nolan

8 p.m. Thursday, August 20. The Firebird, 2706 Olive Street.



John Nolan has never been a complacent artist and never seems intimidated by the idea of venturing into uncharted creative waters. He left über-successful emo-rockers Taking Back Sunday just as that band was reaching its pinnacle to form pensive indie-pop act Straylight Run and this year is releasing his first solo album, Height. Most of these new tracks have a more home-studio, almost demo-like production vibe than the big studio shimmer of Straylight's recorded output. But that's not to say that the arrangements and instrumentation aren't challenging and creative, or that these songs are throwaways. On the contrary, "'Til It's Done to Death" skips along on the strength of rhythmic acoustic strums and a well-executed drum machine/acoustic drum-set tandem that leads perfectly to a harmony-laden hook, while "The Bering Sea" showcases Nolan's ability to create introspective prose about relationships and the unpredictability of human nature.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.