Two years ago, I wrote about Sloth’s “Smug Rock Song” for the Wild Honey Pie, describing the song as a curious concoction of Wilco and Pavement: “Just another smug rock song that’s so interesting/ All the words here don’t even mean anything/ Go and tell your four corner friends that are listening.” This year, Seth Nathan has peeled out of the moniker Sloth and released a brand new track, “Four Corners,” under his real name. As it turns out, Seth still finds himself very much enclosed by the latticework of hyper self-awareness, confounded to his four corners.
He hasn’t quite abandoned his slacker sound, but he has progressed metabolically. There’s a lucidity to his songwriting, which itself is cognizant of its process: “Write it down or tape record a life confined to all four corners/ Crowdfund till you can afford it.” Cryptic, world-weary and cynical, Seth Nathan embodies the dreary bitterness of the Upstate New York scene with his deadpan delivery, finally shifting the focus from his own insular narrative to the rest of the porch party. It’s stark, it’s phasing, but, at the least, you come out of it feeling a little less indolent. You can stream “Four Corners” above.