It’s rare that I replay a song more than once or twice to make sure I understand the words.  But I always do it with tunes by my fellow Maryland native Nathan Larson.

Nathan Larson is best known as guitarist for the band Shudder to Think.  But his best work is post-Shudder, including film compositions, the solo disc “Jealous God” nine years ago, and his collaborations with singers Angela McCluskey and Nina Persson.

Person and McCluskey, in particular, are the perfect match for Larson’s material.  Their voices tend toward smoky, washed-out, Chrissie Hynde-type effect.  Larson lyrics deal with sickness, loneliness, fragility, and the destructive power of love.  Key images are broken pavement, unkept gardens, and cold, distant stars.

Here are six good lines from STRONGER THAN JESUS:

don’t you know love is stronger than Jesus/don’t you know love can kill anyone/bring it on, wars and diseases/you know that love can do you like a shotgun/can’t resist them sailors and soldiers/taking aim at a rabbit on a rifle range

Here are three nice snippets from WRONG SIDE:

you can be my trigger/I can be your hanger-on

every hand I shake/is shaking me down/for a hard-luck song

this could be a gravesite/or we could make a garden here/you could plant gardenias/I could be released from fear

Four songs worth purchasing from iTunes:

  1. STRONGER THAN JESUS – from the album “Colonia” by the Persson-fronted band A Camp
  2. CHINATOWN – same album as above
  3. WRONG SIDE – from “The Things We Do” by Angela McCluskey
  4. I MUST LEARN TO LIVE ALONE – from solo album “Jealous God”


About Kit Troyer

Kit Troyer lives in Los Angeles. He worked previously as a newspaper reporter and a criminal defense attorney. For the last 15 years, he has been a stay-at-home dad. But that gig is running out. Kids will soon be moving out and moving on.
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