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Track Review: ‘Floating Continent’ by Nature’s Neighbor

An evolution in the band’s sound.

Stephanie Hernandez

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“Floating Continent” is a cut above Nature’s Neighbor’s previous work. Starting with a cacophony of sounds, the song shows off what Nature’s Neighbor’s pianist/songwriter and lead vocalist, Mike Walker, claims to be different from what has previously been their sound. According to the group’s bandcamp.com page, https://naturesneighbor.bandcamp.com, “This album is a new mixture of musicians and so the resulting sound is really quite different than anything we’ve put out previously.”

All of Chicago’s own Nature’s Neighbor’s 11 previous releases  have distinct sounds throughout, but one constant is the melodic acoustic guitar intro that leads into vocalist Walker. His vocals then kick in after, in full force.

From Nature’s Neighbor upcoming Feb 9th release of their 12th album UR, “Floating Continent” uses a variety of new instruments to refresh their original sound without reconstructing it in its entirety. The different instruments incorporated throughout the track are piano and percussion, intertwined with flute. It definitely sounds different from their previous sound of acoustic guitar, bringing an apparent evolution and new mixture of sound to the forefront. 

The short song, just under three minutes, delivers a delightfully relaxing, unwinding, and decompressing, lounge feel.

Walker’s voice is a haunting counterpoint to the complex and rich instrumental setting. The depth of sounds pairs well with Walker’s existential lyrics of loss and wonder: “Will they remember this 20 years after apocalypse? Would it even exist? Or would my message be lost or missed?”

The lyrics read off like a beautiful, oceanic poem, like a small “fish” in an expansive sea of musical notes.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

"Man I promise, she's so self-conscious..." about her writing. After 32 years of life, this transplant from Vegas moved to Austin, Texas to pursue her dreams of writing about music. In an attempt to quell the insatiable appetite her life has for music, she chose the live music capital of the world. Just another weirdo to keep Austin weird! You will often find her in the most obscure of dive bars in anticipation of that moment between the artist and audience, where the connection is most apparent. You know, the moment right before the artist comes out and both audience and artist share a deep breath, in unison, in anticipation of the show's direction. That is her definition of adventure. She is constantly in search of new music and treasures those true friends that send recommendations her way! When not going to shows, she spends her downtime curating new playlists for her many moods and friends. She would still make mix tapes if possible, but sadly no longer owns a cassette tape player. Life goal #1: to attend as many, if not all, music festivals in this lifetime.

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