Nathan Leigh – A Life In Transit

Nathan Leigh - A Life In Transit

Nathan Leigh – A Life In Transit

A Life in Transit is a triumph over adversity recorded over two years in various parts of North America and completed with the help of friends when Nathan Leigh suffered a collapsed lung after being beaten by the NYPD during an Occupy protest. Contributions from over 20 artists create a rich tapestry of styles and voices.

“Family of Ghosts” gets the album off to a lively start leading into the fiesta rhythm of “Tightropes” – its refrain reprised later in a glitchy 8-bit version. Set against the backdrop of recession and political repression these songs are positive and life-affirming though the outlook is often bleak, ‘The future’s not as bright as we were told that it would be / No hover cars, no holographs, just reality TV,’ Leigh laments over a cheery chorus of banjo and sax on “The Future Isn’t Bright.” “Pack Up Your Suitcase” is an upbeat duet adding further variety. It is like each song is a city and the listener briefly absorbs the surroundings and culture of each, before being carried onto the next one.

Some are better than others. A commercially minded producer may have trimmed down the 18 song track-list but this was made by friends with many feelings and experiences vested in the music. Overall it’s a distinct musical journey with plenty of highlights. “The Wasteland” is a mellow ballad abruptly followed by “Thank You America” a punchy protest song with Randy Newmanesque irony. Anger and optimism come together in equal parts in “A Beautiful Day In Brooklyn,” a light piece of indie-pop in which Leigh declares, ‘It’s a beautiful day in Brooklyn / Let’s watch it all burn.’

A Life in Transit is a songbook for our time. Beneath the highs and lows is an undercurrent of resilience and optimism for the future and all the opportunities that the open road has to offer.