Singer/songwriter Nate Lacy spent the years since his teens exploring his inner world and his connection with the universe at large. The result of his efforts was a small collection of songs that, when finally recorded and released as Mimicking Birds in 2010, received such accolades as Pitchfork’s assessment that the debut LP was “extremely gifted with cyclical melodies: thorny fingerpicked spines around which he can snake a range of sounds simply for ambience.”
These days, Lacy is focusing his gaze further outward, exploring what he calls “the infinite and the infinitesimal,” while also keeping lyrical watch on the crossroads where our digital future and our pastoral past bump up against each other. Few are the artists who are able to bring such thorny and thoughtful issues to bear in their music, but that is just one of the many reasons that Eons, the new album from Mimicking Birds, is so very special. How this comes out through Lacy is in toothsome lyrics that are filled to bursting with imagery, philosophical questions, and deep personal concerns. That he finds ways to tie these concepts together without losing his way or our fascination with them is a testament to his songwriting prowess.
The rest of the band, Aaron Hanson and Adam Trachsel, works to remain connected to the Birds’ of yore, emphasizing fingerpicked acoustic guitars, the sturdy tones of a stand-up bass, and restrained drums, while pushing into the future as well. Too, Eons feels as expansive as its title thanks to the help of producer Jeremy Sherrer (The Gossip, 1776). He helped weave some gorgeous electronic textures into the songs – listen for the skittering programmed beat that helps carry “Owl Hoots” forward, or the swells of keyboards that pull closing track “Movin’ On” towards an ‘80s pop sunrise.
It’s quite a lot for one album or one band to carry on its shoulders, but Mimicking Birds and Eons prove capable of bearing the weight of this expansive view of the physical world and the world that we can only reach through an amazing piece of music. Eons has 10 such tracks that will transport, delight, and surprise you, even through multiple listens. Eons is out now on Glacial Pace.