On first spin, there wasn't a single notion that jumped out at me about Meredith Bragg's new album "Nest"; I simply wanted to hear more. After a couple more head-tilting listenings, it's striking what a well-balanced effort it is, dabbling in electronic and dance music, sensitive singer-songwriter fare, pop and a variety of narratives.
"Nest" is a personal record, driven, and it all starts with track one, "Second Golden Age." The Virginian songwriter lays his lyrics down in a bed of looping atmospherics and precise guitar phrasing. "And as the frenzy fills up everyone / it can never be the same," he sings on this new Age, a little nervousness building behind his smooth, simple, boyish voice.
The Kora Records effort is due on July 19, next week, and another song "The Birds of North America" -- inspired by John James Audubon -- has already been previewed; check out the music video.
"Nest" is Bragg's fourth set.