Sometimes the best thing you can do is take a little break. And that’s exactly what Michael Nau did when he formed Cotton Jones a few years ago. The Maryland singer-songwriter started the side project during some downtime with Page France, the indie-rock band he leads. The folkier Cotton Jones have released a series of EPs and albums since 2007. The latest, Tall Hours in the Glowstream, is filled with some of the best Americana music you’ll hear this year. At his best, Nau crafts elegant, dreamy songs, and there are plenty of them on Glowstream. Even though there’s some melancholy here, most songs radiate warmth. It helps that Nau always sounds like he means every word he sings. Plus, the curveballs Cotton Jones throw to listeners — like the horn-driven instrumental “Goethe Nayburs” — are always loads of fun. Turns out the best thing for Nau was that vacation he took from Page France. Let’s hope he isn’t planning a similar hiatus from this other project any time soon. Cotton Jones, with Pepper Rabbit and Dreadful Yawns, play the Beachland Tavern at 8:30 p.m.. Tickets: $10, $8 in advance. —Ed Condran
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