Singer/multi-instrumentalist Arthur Nasson has simultaneously released a pair of EPs with the experimental That’s No Way To Treat A Piano and more accessible The Emperor’s New Sound. The latter finds Nasson, who’s also a producer, songwriter, and filmmaker, crafting original pop music that’s defiantly out of synch with the current chart-topping hits. With help from his sons Graham and Colin, Nasson gives the five songs vintage, big production values along with clever and well-honed lyrics.
Nasson has been known to tap into the British Invasion on previous efforts, but it’s harder to pinpoint what era he’s aiming for this time out. The energetic piano and guitar playing on “Multiverse” and the satiric title track evoke Elton John in his prime, while “Tiger By The Claws,” with its breezy vocal arrangement, has more of an early 1960s cocktail vibe. Nasson’s lyrics on “Purple Swan” are bit cloying, but once again the instrumentation makes it work. Graham Nasson plays a Hammond B3 organ on “Graham’s Gentlemen’s Club,” the slinky instrumental that closes this anachronistic but fun EP.