A Song for Each Month of the Year -mts -lew -cd

David Vidaurre

Nathan Moomaw is a new singer/songwriter from Massachusetts who currently lives in San Francisco.
Moomaw turned 26 in April 2006 and decided that he would write and record a song for every month of that year. From his diary: “I’m turning 26. Rockstar age. I want to record a song a month. Any style as long as it fits and was written and recorded within the month and points are made to ensure that each will happen within the month.”
Moomaw started in April when he turned 26 and posted a song on a Website he built for this project each month until March of the following year. This is an impressive commitment for Moomaw, who was involved in various other projects during the same year.
There is a lot to be said about the project itself, as it is an interesting way to musically track your moods and thoughts throughout the year; this is unlike the usual method of recording the songs all at once.
Naturally, songs are usually going to be written in sequence, but it is significant that each is recorded separately and immediately after they are written. Otherwise, it does not allow for later revisions to the music that are probably common among most other musicians.
Because the entire song is quickly forced from conception to birth within a month, Moomaw is more capable of capturing the mood of that particular time. If he wrote a song and recorded it several months later after several revisions, the mood is different than when the song was actually written.
Based on the goals of most musicians, this method is probably not the best. If one is trying to present a polished piece of work or trying to get a particular point across, revisions are necessary to make sure that the music and lyrics are the best that they can be. This was clearly not what Moomaw was trying to do. He was trying to show the character of his 26th year through music as it happened.
The results of this interesting project are pleasant. When I read about the project, I was afraid that it might be a messy disjointed collection of unpolished work. The record turns out to be a very coherent collection of songs that follow from one another.
One of Moomaw’s conditions for the songs, as we saw above, was that they “fit.” While he allowed himself “any style,” he does not really take the opportunity to explore very much beyond what he started with, which was the not-so-terribly-original folk/country genre with the inclusion of some interesting and non-traditional instruments for variation here and there.
He sings of tiring clich******ACCENT E*****s but uses them often in his lyrics. For example, in the very first song, “April,” he sings about how he wishes he were a dog so that he could be free to do what he wants.
The animal-equals-freedom technique has been used widely in rock lyrics already and probably in poetry before that. This is only one example of how Moomaw’s lyrics are frequently irritating. When they are not clich*****ACCENT E*****s they are also frequently trite, as in “September” when he sings, “If you were a color you’d be amber! If you were liquor you’d be red wine! If you were heartbeat you’d be quicker! If you were a lover you’d be mine!”
For the most part Moomaw’s music is clever and pleasant and if you can get past some of the annoying lyrics you will really enjoy the album.
The album, “26,” will be released May 13, but all of the tracks are already available for download on Moomaw’s Website.