From the moment Sara Kermanshahi’s plaintive vocals start, it’s difficult to make out her gender just by listening. That, combined with the band name, creates a delicious ambiguity. The emotional weight of the lyrics could apply to man or woman– anyone who’s felt vulnerable before.
Natureboy’s instrumentation is simple but effective. The build of “Famous Sons” around the same repetitive lead guitar feels like a natural swell of emotion, and “Dither” features acoustic plucking that any singer-songwriter could be proud to claim on an album. “Railroad Apt.” verges on haunting without getting too spooky, while “Over and Out” sounds like it could be ripped from the pages of a 70’s troubadour’s notebook.
If there’s one fault in Natureboy’s style, it’s that the songs are a bit too laid-back. It’s easy to lose track of where one song ends and another begins. That’s great if you’re hanging out and want a bit of ambiance, but I found it difficult to really focus on the lyrics because everything slid by so smoothly and quickly. The players are strong on Natureboy’s debut, and I have no doubt that future output will only continue to build in strength.