It seems like we’ve been waiting for a debut album from Michael Nelson’s BANNERS for some time now. Finally, early this month Where The Shadow Ends was announced and then dropped – in the span of a few days. The wait was long for the record but the tease up to its release wasn’t. After listening through the album a few times, I can say that it was worth the wait.
The best thing about BANNERS is Nelson’s vocal delivery. In covering music for a decade, I’ve never heard anything quite like it. Its range is crazy – he goes from deep/low to falsetto in 3 seconds and it all seems effortless. Nothing he does makes it seem like any kind of work at all, he’s an incredible vocal talent.
Pairing that vocal talent with great songs is not as easy as it sounds. For the most part Nelson has come up with the perfect songs for his release. His EPs have been worth listening to over and over and his album is too. “Rule the World” and “Got It in You” are beautifully performed and tremendous singles. “Safe” has an unorthodox melody in the verse that builds itself into a gigantic chorus. Everything else is just as good. “No One Knows Us” is probably the best song on the record. It features Carly Paige and she does a tremendous job on the track with Nelson. “Where The Shadow Ends” features Young Bombs and it’s a powerful song with music and lyrics. The production and mix are perfect and it’s a nice song to put right in the middle of all the tracks as something different.
BANNERS debut album is tremendous. It’s a late-night listen when you need to connect with something. With the lyrics, the production, and Nelson’s voice you’re likely to find something that will resonate with you. The quality of this music demands your attention, go and give it a listen. You won’t regret it.