Our Austin360 Artist of the Month feature story on Jeremy Nail two weeks ago — along with the video above, shot in our American-Statesman studio — focused on Nail’s new album “The Mountain,” and the journey Nail faced in making the record happen.

Jeremy Nail’s “Letter,” released in 2007.

It’s an inspirational story and an excellent record, but it wasn’t Nail’s first release. In our interview, Nail seemed to downplay his 2007 debut “Letter.” It’s common for artists to seek out new horizons as they get older, and sometimes they look back at their earlier work as underdeveloped.

Listening back to “Letter” almost a decade after it came out, though, I was struck by just how good of a song-based rock/pop album it is. While it’s true that Nail’s shift toward acoustic-focused Americana on “My Mountain” drew him to an even closer focus on his writing, there’s an immediacy and spirit in the songs on “Letter” that make it worth going back to.

You won’t find the album on Nail’s own Bandcamp page, where he’s streaming “My Mountain.” But it does show up on Spotify. With a tight band that included producer/bassist Mark Addison and Fastball drummer Joey Shuffield, Nail put together a dozen songs that ring out with strong melodies and engaging vocals. Check it out below and judge for yourself; it’s also available from cdbaby.com.

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