fOUR – ‘X.IT’ (Album Review)

It would seem natural that all the work multi-instrumentalist Nate Wood has been doing under his solo project, fOUR, would be leading to an album. Wood has been releasing videos of his one take performances, playing new songs and every instrument, over the last year, blowing minds all the while. Now he’s put the songs all together for the album X.IT, out Friday.

As we’ve noted here as Wood released this series, on each of these ten songs, Nate Wood is playing the drums (for which he’s best known playing in Kneebody), bass, synths, and vocals all in one pass with no pre-recorded backing track. These songs are proggy, glitchy, filled with brightness and shadows. They have the very high potential of being club jams.

Opener “Rabbit” is an explosive powder keg of a song that gives a clear indication of where this album is going to go and the feeling doesn’t ever let back up. “Come Back” has the somberness of a ballad while still keeping some pretty high bpm. “Frozen Head”, which features Wood’s rare vocals, is a fast-paced jam, super fun and light. Album closer “Mysterious One” is hauntingly beautiful, it’s vamp out is nothing short of perfect, coasting on the mood it sets and fades away.

Even with the opportunity to hear this music grow over the last year, it’s hard to really say what it is. It’s prog rock, kind of poppy, made from a jazz guy with those sensibilities present. It’s certainly an electronic music marvel. For Wood, this is him letting himself go. It’s him getting loose, or as loose as one can get while having to maintain total control of all aspects of the music he’s making. It’s been a total delight to have these songs drop over the last year, but having them all together as one album makes this sound more concrete, something more than bits of data on the internet separated by windows and delineated by loading progress bars. X.IT is the collections of the recordings of man melding with machine and coming out on the other end just fine.

X.IT, the new album from fOUR, multi-instrumentalist Nate Wood’s solo project, is out Friday.

Written, recorded, performed, mix+mastered by Nate Wood. Artwork by Howie Shia.