THE DEBUT SOLO ALBUM – OUT JUNE 11th 2021 (VIA AWAL)
“A whimsically creative world reminiscent of Tame Impala and Mac Demarco.” (Glide Magazine)
“Mellow, groovy, and makes a great effort to help you gain perspective of your current placement in life.” (Get Some Magazine)
Nathaniel Paul, the singer-songwriter and producer from Emmy Award-winning band The Bergamot, will release his first full-length solo album Learning to Listen on June 11th 2021 (via AWAL).
The album’s lead single, “Songbird,” was featured in Glide Magazine and Get Some Magazine (amongst others) reaching #24 on SubmitHub’s Worldwide All-Time Chart earlier this year. Glide Magazine called it, “A bold musical statement with cutting vocal dynamics that weave throughout warm and fastidious instrumental color, [with] an acute sense of production and arrangement.” The new single “Lazy Sunday” will be released on May 21st.
Nathaniel Paul created this first full-length record from a closet. After traveling to London to work with producer Matt Wiggins (Glass Animals, London Grammar) to work on The Bergamot’s most recent album, Mayflies, Nathaniel says; “I was inspired so much by Matt and the whole experience of being in London that it was inevitable another record was going to come from the experience.” Whilst The Bergamot put finishing touches to their forthcoming album with Matt (due for release later this year), Nathaniel decided to put together a solo record from an abundance of music written during the pandemic that abruptly paused his career. Rather than going inward or binge-watching Netflix, he instead set out to write. Forty-five songs ultimately sprang forth. Technology, race riots, political unrest, global warming, mass media over-reach, homelessness, and unemployment were just a few of the topics tackled.
As Nathaniel says; “This is not the time for orchids or roses to bloom – this is a time for the weeds. That is all I could think about. I have to be like a weed that can thrive in the most desolate of landscapes. I, myself, have to grow and persevere even though the toughest challenges will lie ahead. The song ‘It’s All A Rage’ gets right to the point. Life is chaotic and insane, but somehow I, we, will find our way.
“There was an abundance to write about. These are pretty dire times, but we have to retain some level of hope for the future,” he continues. “I am finding ways to see and hear people in a new light. Without judgement and condemnation, but with a renewed sense of understanding. Life is a complicated puzzle of issues and personalities. This record is a way to explore those issues without judgement. To go on a journey with no real intention or hope of returning back. To learn how to listen and to begin again.
“What’s it like to have your whole life descend into pure chaos in less than seventy-two hours? I tried to write that soundtrack. From the get-go, I never wanted to make this record. In the fall of 2019, The Bergamot were asked to open for OneRepublic for our first stadium-sized show. Then, by March of 2020, I was facing imminent homelessness and complete loss of my career and income. That was the premise of this work: facing severe depression and not relenting until I won.
“I’m just doing the best with what I have. It’s not ideal, but the music is coming out in a way that’s honest and pure. That is all that really matters.” Nathaniel says. “I’m just a guy, down on my luck, trying to do my best to fight the inner battles I have with this relentless sense of failure. Even though everything is out of my hands. This record is a way for me to remember this time for the positive, and for what was accomplished – not the major setbacks that have been dealt.”
The debut album’s opening tune, “Songbird,” is about the dream to go back, and the nightmare that we never can; “During quarantine, I met an elderly man who struck up a conversation with me. He said: “Life is hard when you outlive all the ones you love.” It seemed like an intense way to start a conversation, but I could tell he just needed someone to talk to. I felt this sense that he had that the world at large had forgotten about him. But he had created a plan to travel the world on a train he had read about. He could work on the train while it took him across the world. He was planning his way out. I think the whole record comes to grips with what ‘songbird’ sets out. A mad time that has seen many highs and lows – but ultimately leaves us with one thing: our time on earth and what we do with it. I guess it’s time to learn how to listen.”
“Let’s practice empathy. Let’s rehearse forgiveness. Let’s exercise acceptance. Let’s normalize patience. Let’s seek unity. Let’s strive for integrity. Let’s give service. Let’s try respect. Let’s have faith. Let’s cry freedom. Let’s be friendly. Let’s hope for wisdom. Let’s put on gratitude. Let’s prepare cleanliness. Let’s instill self-discipline. Let’s shout faith. Let’s emote enthusiasm. Let’s consider truthfulness. Let’s sing harmoniously. Let’s trust. Let’s spread love. Let’s be virtuous. Let’s honor those among us with the most virtues, and let’s tell them we love them. Just because.”
Nathaniel Paul – ‘Learning to Listen’ album tracklisting
02 It’s All A Rage
04 Lazy Sunday
05 The Phone
08 Learning to Listen
09 Love Gives Itself Away
Bonus Track: Learning to Listen (version)
Fans can listen to and purchase ‘Learning To Listen’ HERE