Break out your bell bottoms, dust off your roller skates, and escape the 21st century with Modern Nomad. Forever slipping between 1969 and 2019, Maryland based bohemian Tom McLean brings back the disco-craze and psychedelic spirit with “The Only Way.” A follow up to his September singles, the song possess that same authenticity that can only be ascribed to some tear in outer space or time machine allowing him to dip between decades.

Losing your place in the universe, “The Only Way” feels like slipping straight into some distant galaxy still stuck in the 60s. Records spinning all night and days spent lounging in the sunshine, there’s an unwavering hippie spirit that makes everything feel fine. Spending hours starting at your lava lamp losing your head over the one person you can never figure out, the velvety groove makes even that constant state of confusion feel nonchalant. Professing ‘it’s alright with me I’m fine it’s okay/you explained it all to me today then ran away,’ McLean seems to transcend all earthly worries. The whole world melts away under the retro-synth and subtle funk that makes the track shimmer. A jazzy interjection, Mike Paxton’s saxophone solo cuts through the cosmic mirage giving the song a dose of soul. Ending with the realization that what matters most is his mind, McLean makes it feel like you could dance all night leaving the entire solar system behind.

A pilgrim from the age of peace and love, Modern Nomad makes you nostalgic for things you’ve never known. You can’t help but feel like some time traveler, venturing back in the decades and deep space to meet him somewhere in the cosmos where the music is always playing and people are always swaying.


samantha sullivan