Home Read Now Hear This: David Nance | Staunch Honey

Now Hear This: David Nance | Staunch Honey

I'm getting caught up on the good albums that have come out lately. Like this one.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Nebraska songwriter David Nance is back with his fifth proper studio album Staunch Honey, his followup to his acclaimed 2018 disc Peaced and Slightly Pulverized. Returning to the home-recorded magic of his early albums, Staunch Honey was recorded entirely to tape by Nance himself at his Omaha home with the occasional assistance from his longtime live bandmates Jim Schroeder and Kevin Donohue.

Staunch Honey is the culmination of two years of hard work. Nance worked and reworked the album three times over, recording and rerecording songs until they sounded just so. The result is a stunning batch of sonic manna that hums with feeling and mood; expertly crafted, but sounding simultaneously off-the-cuff. Nance dials back the squalling feedback & raging guitars of Peaced… into something a bit mellower, like the soundtrack to a late-night drive or late-night hangs — songs rusted & dusted with mid-fi, stoney brilliance.

The Merchandise kicks off the album, loping into earshot with an off-kilter countrified gait, not unlike a front porch jam session. This vibe permeates the album — other tunes like Save Me Some Tears, Gentle Traitor and When The Covers Come Off burn with casual intensity, while rockers like My Love, The Dark and I and Sell It All Night sizzle with a six-string fury. Penultimate track Black Mustang is a real standout, with a subtle banjo plucking in the background and a palpable yearning and melancholy. Not content to let the album go by without the rumble of guitar, If The Truth Ever Shows Up closes out the album. It’s an instrumental jam with Nance wrangling and riffing on a gut-punching guitar solo for six-plus minutes that feels very much like the end credits to a long-lost midnight movie.

Nance’s true gift as a songwriter lies in his ability to craft poetry and personas that feel lived-in. There’s a world-weariness to his lyrical and musical approach, but rooted in joy, love and above all; passion. Many of the tunes on Staunch Honey feel like classics, but that’s because in Nance’s hands, they already are.”