2002 - 2009: A Retrospective

by The New Nathan Detroits

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about

I first met Oli Robinson in Melton Mowbray's King Edward Vii Upper School's Common Room's "Goth Area". We had a conversation about the relative merits of The Smiths and The Smashing Pumpkins. We did not agree, minor resentment festered. This continued until we eventually bonded over Weezer (pre Green album, natch). Times were simpler then.

Oli was my friend and I looked up to him as someone who A) could play an instrument; b) was studying music(!); and c) was in what was possibly Melton Mowbray's first ever Post Hardcore band, "End of September". My admiration only grew as we prepared to leave for university and Oli changed tack, moving away from playing bass whilst other people screamed on songs with titles like "Hand on Heart" and deciding to form his own "band", The New Nathan Detroits.

Oli shared a love with me for making albums (i.e. A Model For Song Analysis), giving them a name (i.e. A Model For Song Analysis) , giving them artwork (i.e. A Model For Song Analysis' artwork) and giving them away for free. Our passion was shared with a small group of others. In fact our little scene was just like Olympia, Wa - if the Olympia, Wa scene had been totally different and had about 10 people in it.

Over the years the New Nathan Detroits released 6 albums/EPs. Ranging from songs backed solely with acoustic guitars to songs backed solely with banjo... Ok, the diversity wasn't the point. The songs were excellent, as was the style. Small, inward looking and generally sang to one person alone. Sometimes happy - see "Platitudes" with it's list of errrm, platitudes - but mostly melancholy - see the heartbreaking "Prime Numbers " with it's chorus of "I promise I'll change myself to be what you want me to be".

You can hear echoes of Oli's heroes of the time in The New Nathan Detroits' music - Iron and Wine, Novi Split, Owen, American Football, Peter and The Wolf, Me, many other tiny, tiny bands - but I think it's safe to say that the whole thing is essentially New Nathan Detroitsian.

As he grew from a calf to a bull , Oli's music tastes changed and matured as all of ours do. I moved into freejazz, country, reggae, you name it; I opened my pallette to the world. Oli now loves Ed Banger and Electro. So the New Nathan Detroits is now a completed piece, a painted picture, a fat lady singing, a finished jigsaw, a digested sandwich, a...

These songs were never meant to change the world. In fact I'm gonna posit the New Nathan Detroits as the anti-U2, just a man singing heart felt, songs to one other person. A small group of people love these songs. Hopefully a few more will.

credits

released September 22, 2012

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Cath 'n' Dad Records London, UK

Cath 'n' Dad Records is a Global Digital Record Label. In keeping with the principles of gift/resource-based economics, all releases are completely free to download. In lieu of a monetary exchange, we suggest you do something within your means and circumstances that will have a positive impact upon your local environment and/or community. ... more

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