Sandown, N.H.,-based Amber Dust is a project pretty much stripped down to the vision of Jesse Nickerson at this point, but no foul; in the ProTools age a bandleader can project hir deepest ideas without much if any signal loss. There’s nothing wrong, either, with someone possessed of real vision being based in the sparsest burbs of a food-producing state like ours (I was just telling a friend about my favorite blogger, Mark Dery, an NYU lit prof who’s so cool he hits grand slams of hipness almost by accident in whatever subject he writes about. Thing is, it’s painfully obvious he could use a little down-time contemplating pine needles. Life’s a balance, dude.).
But back to Nickerson, whose full-length LP finds him in a more reflective, melancholy mood than in the demo from last year, probably because he’s feeling a little I Am Legend in his inevitable solitude. He’s improved overall, projecting gorgeous alt-Americana-folk from as real a place as EastMountainSouth and kids like that can reach. This release was delayed some, probably so Nickerson could tweak the slightest drum beat, and it’s worth the wait — a very listenable, mature, intimate, pro-sounding bouquet of tunes. (Download through CD Baby at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/amberdust.) A —Eric W. Saeger