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NORDIC NOMADIC (Worldwide Skyline) LP/CD

Before Quest For Fire, there was NORDIC NOMADIC which is the solo project of Chad Ross, singer and guitarist for the band that I mentioned in the beginning. 'Worldwide Skyline' is his second solo album and it is an emotional song cycle that invites the listener to contemplate on the nuance and intensity of the music. With a subtle blend of folk, americana and psychedelica, 'Worldwide Skyline' manages to be unobtrusive and reticent, but yet sensitive, tuneful and catchy. In the centre of these is Ross' soothing vocals as well as his acoustic guitar playing.

There's also an electric guitar but it does not play a great role here and only occurs sporadically. The same applies to the drums that can be heard in two songs. Sometimes a menacing buzz appears in the background which will ensure that the music drifts into dark realms, though it should be noted that this album is definitely no joyous affair. Melancholy reigns supreme. That serious approach gives the music sincerity and stresses its groundedness. 'Summer Friends' is one of my favourite cuts on this album. Paul Aucoin's vibraphone adds a nice dreaminess to the song and it feels as if one has reached a beautiful clearing in the forest.

'The Soft Way' gives me strength and comfort and shows once more that Chad Ross is very good at reaching the heart, mind and soul of the listener. Also worthy of mentioning is the cinematographic character of this record. Chad Ross lives in Canada and I can well imagine that the wondeful landscape there was a great inspiration for him. Overall, this is a heartfelt album that is very good from beginning to end. It's like a quiet island in these troubled and superficial times.