Joseph Arthur

Nuclear Daydream

[4/5] You might recognize singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur from his pensive, gravelly song “In The Sun,” a tune that’s appeared on the television show Scrubs and has been covered by folks like Coldplay’s Chris Martin and R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe. But the Akron, Ohio, native is a seasoned musician with four albums and a smattering of EPs under his belt, a wealth of experience that no doubt explains why Nuclear Daydream is such an accomplished effort. The 12 songs on this midnight-hued album are driven by hushed acoustic guitar and Arthur’s weathered voice, which can be as hopeful as daybreak or burdened by worry. But it’s the little touches that make Daydream so appealing: a gentle synth line rocks “Automatic Situation” like a lullaby; “Don’t Give Up On People” is a hymn with ghostly piano that resembles Magnolia Electric Co.; and “Woman” is pure Wilco-grade twang. Think Bright Eyes is transcendent? You really need to experience Joseph Arthur. (LONELY ASTRONAUT) Annie Zaleski

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