Album Review: Nadalands — ‘The Vernal Equinox’ EP

Nadalands are back with another meditative EP: The Vernal Equinox. Each song truly reflects the title’s meaning: shining light on the ways of the new world. This five-track treasure features vocals from well-known local musicians Alexis Stevens and Brian Johannesen joined with Matt Tritto and Benjamin Buttice. This projects’ sound is unique due to the rest of the band being based in Fort Collins, Colorado. We get a great balance of both rustic, vibrant towns. The beautiful sounds of John Lindenbaum on guitar carry you through the beat production by The Gyrd.

The EP is 20 minutes of great harmony and traditional feels. It takes you on a journey of self-reflection. The album art shows the peaceful countryside near a sandy beach and clear blue skies. This paradise is interrupted by a futuristic town in the making, representing evolution. The song placement does a great job presenting the consistent themes of fear, death, romance and faith.

Full of upbeat rhythms, this is sure to put you in the mood for a great time with friends. We start with a meeting in the park that could potentially go wrong on track 1, “I Will Show You Fear in a Handful of Dust.” We are reminded of the importance of respecting the people we encounter, because they could be experiencing unimaginable circumstances. This track also reveals one of the controversial themes presented throughout the EP—the relationships between citizens and law enforcement. There is mention of the police, National Guard, undercover agents and first responders.

There has been constant national coverage regarding police brutality, demand for budget re-evaluation and protected respect for the profession more now than ever before. Nadalands allow us a glimpse into the different viewpoints around our nation.

We find the hopeful romantic on track 2, “Tampa Nightclub incident.” The words of unsatisfied lovers are always “will you wait for me?” — a question rarely answered. We experience a story of someone wishing the ways of the world didn’t interfere with their second chance at love. There is mention of the hard time people faced trying to date during quarantine. The lyrics “In October, let’s go where they still have medicine” identify a concern many have during the current state of the pandemic. Access to vaccines and fully staffed hospitals remain an obstacle in 2021.

Track 3, “The Coloradoan Song of the Dead,” reveals just how connected we all are despite life choices and occupations. Individuality doesn’t separate you from the ways of the world. Time and seasons bring community change, and we will inevitably change with the community, as well. Just as the world as we know it dies, the loyal citizens will die with it. We are encouraged to remember the lyrics from track 4, “500k”: “We are One, we are strong. We are done, we are gone.”

The Vernal Equinox is a great addition to the Nadalands collection. Be on the lookout for the band’s live performances scheduled Fall 2021.

This article was originally published in Little Village issue 294.

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