Photo by Justin Frahm
Lost in the chorus of those lamenting the death of San Francisco’s music scene is the small detail that, really, SF is doing just fine. Singer-songwriters like Sarah Bethe Nelson help to ensure the Bay Area’s continued vibrancy, and her songs are an intriguing condensation of the city’s contradictions. Though tethered to the simple, sun-kissed melodies more commonly associated with Southern California, Nelson’s sound is undeniably the product of countless evenings tending bar in the Mission District. It’s a bit weary from all those late nights, but there’s a finicky energy to it, as well — a sense of adventure buried beneath all those drawn-out minor chords.
Nowhere is this more apparent than on Nelson’s new single “Hazy”, which succeeds on its own terms without trying too hard. “I think of ‘Hazy’ as elements of doo-wop and adult contemporary hanging around together,” Nelson tells Consequence of SOund. “But mostly, it’s a simple little love song.” If Nelson doesn’t seem much like the self-aggrandizing type in person, she’s even more modest on record, preferring to let the listener search for the jewel of a melody at the center of each song.
With “Hazy”, that search is a pleasure. Listen to the song below; it will appear on Nelson’s forthcoming album Oh, Evolution, which drops February 24th on Burger Records.
Oh, Evolution Album Artwork: