With Page France, before you know it, you're completely immersed in singer Michael Nau's metaphorical world of blatantly religious ideas that are nowhere near to having any invested interest in religion. His lyrics latch onto many of the most pertinent symbols and catch points that are found in the Good Book, exploring them and turning them over and around with a general feeling that times are tough and that pessimism is an easier pill to swallow.
There's a sentiment throughout the songs on the band's 2006 Hello, Dear Wind, and on the upcoming Page France and the Family Telephone, that the protagonists are slighted children of God, who know the drills, they know the requirements and expectations, they are aware that they somehow traveled from privilege to the thin ice and then into the drink without a life preserver. And they know that they've got a struggle ahead of them. Even though there's little dread in the songs that Nau expertly crafts, which express so much of the general confusion that anyone of any sort of devout religious nature should experience sometime in their life. Cursive's Tim Kasher fully explores the contradictions and problems of modern Catholic religion on last year's Happy Hollow and it's easy for one to believe that Nau is a student and fellow explorer into the lands of murky belief and questionable finalities.
Certain reoccurring themes of trumpets and rings and feasts and rains dance with other ideas of I'm-not-so-sure-about-all-of-this-religion-stuff that still come off as being dear and delicate. His voice is as soft as a peach skin and raspy at the same time, with a tone that sounds like maple syrup and chewing gum—with a laze to it that has a smoky quality that doesn't come easily. The band's songs come quickly and leave lightly, skimming by as if they were riding in the belly of a canoe passing over a tranquil pond at dusk—there's a quiet magic to what this band does so effortlessly.