The story of Nadine’s fourth album, Strange Seasons, has a lot to do with process. The album was recorded a year and a half ago by the band’s core members — guitarist/vocalist Adam Reichmann, guitarist/keyboardist Steve Rauner, and bassist Anne Tkach — plus a number of sidemen (including Centro-matic’s Matt Pence, who produced the disc). But it was shelved as the group sorted out issues concerning personnel (they’ve since expanded to a five-piece), musical direction (more rock, less twang), and business (they left the Undertow label for Trampoline, an L.A. upstart whose principals include Pete Yorn and the Wallflowers’ Rami Jaffee).
So the band that was is neither the band that is nor the band that made this record. Got it?
No matter. Strange Seasons is a collection of beautiful, soulful songs that match Reichmann’s high, quavering vocals to rich, layered textures, notably Rauner’s swirling keyboards and languorous guitar tones. Breakups and goodbyes of other sorts dominate the lyrical landscape, but you somehow get the feeling that these characters, like the girl walking off her sorrow in the chilled air of Chicago (“Different Kind Of Heartache”), are all going to make it.
Performances are tight and dynamic throughout, as on “Beautiful”, an engaging rocker; the Beatlesque “Bad At Goodbyes”; and “Better Off Now”, which builds to an intense, guitar-fueled crescendo.
Strange Seasons finds Nadine moving onward and upward with vigor and confidence. The lineup that’s currently on the road, which includes hard rock guitarist Jimmy Griffin and R&B-schooled drummer Brian Zielie, is even better and more versatile. There’s no telling how far (or even which way) they’ll go next.