QRO has been a fan of Nate Martinez’s since his days in Pela (QRO interview while in Pela), and enjoyed his post-Pela debut as Thieving Irons, This Midnight Hum (QRO review). But with Behold, This Dreamer!, Martinez has worked out whatever kinks he once had for an amazing, ‘just right’ record.
Behold begins with "End of September", which has just the right amount of road-pressure so that it adds, not subtracts, from the slightly wistful alt-country piece – and throughout Behold, Martinez has just the right amount of added elements. Subsequent single "So Long" (QRO review) expands Thieving Irons’ sound while nicely marrying an evocative procession to hints of New Wave and more. Meanwhile, the following title track is soft and oh so sweet in its own evocative, yet smooth, expanse.
While Thieving Irons & Behold are rooted in alt-country, other elements are added at just the right amounts. The weight to the sad "Sleepwalking Into the Ocean" doesn’t detract from its wash, while a Goldilocks bowl of tones is included in the more wistful "Below the Avenues". And killer track "Poison" – a sure-fire single – has great pressure combined with just enough rock-energy to make it catchy without being lightweight.
This Midnight Hum had all the right elements for a great ‘more than just alt-country record’, though sometimes not at the right levels – Behold, This Dreamer! gets those levels just right.
MP3 Stream: "Poison"