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Judge for thenadas

Chicago, IL
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Portrait of thenadas
If you’ve ever taken a road trip headed West on I-80 from Davenport to Council Bluffs, Iowa, you’d probably want the entire Nadas catalogue as your soundtrack. Come to think of it, the music of the Nadas would make an excellent companion for traversing the whole great big beautiful Midwest

And with the addition of their latest album, The Ghosts Inside These Halls, you’ll probably want to bring them along on all your other journeys, too

The Nadas’ own journey began in Ames, Iowa, in 1994. Like so many American bands, the Nadas started as a way for its members to pass the time between college classes. Unlike so many American bands, the Nadas outlasted their educations and rode a growing fan base to a genuine, honest-to-goodness career

And what a career it has been. The Nadas are anchored by the twin vocals of Mike Butterworth and Jason Walsmith, both of whom skillfully evoke the romance, introspection, and uncertainty of living life on one’s own terms in the 21st Century. With one foot firmly in their alt-country roots and another pointed wherever the open road might take them, the band seems to have effortlessly picked up where the young Bruce Springsteen left off—turning out profound and reflective tunes while simultaneously rocking audiences clear into next weekend

The Ghosts Inside These Halls builds and improves on the band’s signature sound. “Blue Lights,” with its clean, soulful rhythm guitar track and dense vocal harmonies on the chorus, is equal parts spiritual uplift and arena rock ballast. “Good Night Girl” begins with celestial, bell-like guitar tones before drummer Justin Klein’s snare cracks wide open as powerful an anthem as anything the foursome has ever produced. And one could be forgiven for wishing that FM radio would junk half of its playlist in order to make room for songs as smart and infectious as “Here for You.

In fact, if FM radio started playing the Nadas on a regular basis, it’s a good bet that discerning listeners would start spending a lot more time in their cars. Road trip anyone?