Analogue Music | Matt Nathanson - The Lexington EP
Matt Nathanson - The Lexington EP

Matt Nathanson - The Lexington EP

Artist: Matt Nathanson · Written by Matt Conner

Date Released

7 February, 2023


Acrobat Records



Sometimes the best thing an EP can do is put an arm around the songs that preceded it.

Matt Nathanson's latest release, The Lexington EP, is a pretty easily assembled package, at least we assume. There's one new track, three cover tunes, and an acoustic version of a recent song that presents within a new five-track package to keep the wheels greased on streaming services and mailing lists. It's also the ideal sidecar.

Nathanson has always been at his best armed only with his wit and an acoustic guitar, and in recent years, the veteran singer-songwriter has wrestled with his identity and his craft in sincerely moving ways—mostly through the release of last year's Boston Accent. The LP was a treatise on his Massachusetts home—the title track itself a masterclass in straightforward songwriting—and the release deserved a spotlight as great as anything Nathanson had released so far.

Enter The Lexington EP, a short five-song set that showcases Nathanson at home in intimate arrangements. More than that, these are smart choices that not only entertain and engage on their own, but they remind the listener that there's far more where that came from, linking you back to the greater works released prior to it.

Take, for instance, the only new song of the lot: "Japanese". The lovely acoustic arrangement is backed by a bit of violin and chronicles the beauty and fear of falling in love. Nathanson sings of its fragility as he sings, "It sounds pretty and a little bit sad / And I'm trying my best but I don't understand / All of it's lost on me like Japanese." The tension of its vulnerable beauty reminds you to explore similar tracks that have come before from Nathanson.

As for the covers, there's everything to love about "Coming Up Close," originally performed by 'Til Tuesday. The sparse acoustic treatment here with Sara Watkins singing harmonies turns the song on its head and gives it a greater dimension. It's also fun to see Nathanson put his spin on Harry Styles' excellent "Matilda" (from Harry's House) and the song doesn't sound too far from something Nathanson himself would craft. Simon & Garfunkel's "The Only Living Boy in New York" rounds out the three covers present.

By the time "Blush" enters the picture, the final song from Boston Accent, the job of The Lexington EP is done. The song itself feels too close to the original to set it apart, but its position here is more of a da capo than anything else, notation intended to take us back to the beginning. In this instance, it's the arrow pointing back to Boston Accent and Nathanson's larger catalog.