Though Nathan Lawr finally formed his perfect band in the Afrobeat-inspired MINOTAURS, there lies within him a restless spirit that no one can soothe better than himself. And so he presents a new solo LP called Chance Encounter, which tends to the folk/rock/pop impulse that first found him working with Jim Guthrie and as a member of Royal City and FemBots more than a decade ago.
This is Lawr’s third proper solo album after 2003’s The Heart Beats a Waltz and 2005’s Secret Carpentry (an early incarnation of the Minotaurs appeared on 2007’s A Sea of Tiny Lights) and it finds him working like he did when he first started—feeling things out with no expectations. Chance Encounter experiments began in 2009 at Cosmic Dave’s Sound Emporium in Sudbury, ON with FemBot Dave McKinnon (not the ‘Cosmic Dave’ in question but pretty out there himself) producing.
Things moved on to the House of Miracles in Preston, ON so that Andy Magoffin could supervise the recording of more songs. It’s the tenth album that Lawr and Magoffin have worked on together and Lawr is most pleased with the result.
Herein lie stories about Che Guevara and Fela Kuti, living in a union town like Sudbury, strained but unbeatable friendships and unstoppable break-ups, love and sex, and the secret to success, which Lawr could tell you, if someone would only tell him. Chance Encounter is Nathan Lawr taking a second to remind himself that he can still write songs like this, outside of an Afro-idiom, that he can be just as artfully oblique about love, as he can about politics, and that he can do, as he damn well pleases.