Nathan Mathes – Anajune Rival


Unique is the first thing that comes to mind when I listen to Anajune Rival by Nathan Mathes. The album, comprised of 11 songs, is a combination of folk and rock. The mellow, deep voice of Mathes accompanied by thought provoking lyrics makes this album a hit.

Nathan Mathes spent his early years in the business as a front man for indie bands in Green Bay Wisconsin and has progressed into the folk scene with the release of his first solo albums American Whitecaps and Roselawn in 2010 and 2011 respectively. His diverse musical abilities and memorable lyrics have made his albums a hit that have received praise and great reception.

It comes as no surprise that his newest album, Anajune Rival, is full of memorable songs. The feel of the album reminded me of an early Death Cab for Cutie mixed with The Beatles post-Abbey Road. The slow, steady tempos mixed with Mathes’ unique tone make for an enjoyable listening experience. I thoroughly fond of the variation in tone, depth and beats between each song. No single song sounded like another and showed Mathes’ talent with ease. “In The Long Run,” “In the Morning and the Cast Remembers,” “That’s My Girl in There,” and “Come After All,” are my favorite songs. All 11 songs are memorable and worthy of praise but those few stuck out to me the most. It proves that you don’t need auto tune and theatrics to make a song memorable or chart topping worthy. The lyrics are so personal and moving and you really get a feel for who Mathes is as a person and artist as you continue to listen to each song. There is so much range and depth there.

My only critique is that there is not enough information about this artist available. I want to see his music more easily accessible — it deserves to be heard.

This listening experience was so calming, enjoyable and relaxing. When you just want to sit back and relax, sip away at coffee or maybe a class of whisky in the afternoon, this is an album you want to keep you company. I enjoyed the journey this album took me on and the thoughts that followed while listening to each unique set of lyrics. He does the folk genre proud by uniquely incorporating rock elements into each song. The tradeoff between instruments like piano, electric and acoustic guitars, cymbals and tambourines made this album the brilliant experience that it is. With the talent that Mathes’ possesses it comes as a shock to me that we don’t hear his music all over the radio or talked about non-stop across media platforms. This is an artist you want to get behind, support and follow. I anticipate this album will really boost him far in his career as it shows so much promise and potential. I’m only sad that I have not heard of him or his great music before now. Take the time to listen to this album, you will not regret it.


Darianne Joy