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.

www.nathanleigh.net