Article by: Adrian Vanderbosch
Nathan Edwin’s music is personal. It’s reflective. But, most of all, it’s identifiable. That recognition; that sense of intimacy and familiarity a listener gets from exploring Nathan’s work, is a quality so often forced and failed in music, but the always earnest Edwin achieves it with a kind of casual effortlessness.
He exists as a rare entity, possessing not only the musical skills to construct dynamic, layered accompaniments, but also a poetic skill that consistently produces unexpected, honest and vivid lyrics. It is easy to draw comparisons to lyrical greats like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen when considering Nathan’s style, but he never allows his work to become derivative of his predecessors in the Folk/Rock genre. He instead draws from the same impulses inside himself, finding his own unique and genuine voice. In a retro-obsessed indie music industry, where nostalgia is used gratuitously in an attempt to manufacture a sense of authenticity, Nathan Edwin never relies on kitsch to endear his listener. There is no putting on of airs here.
To explore Nathan’s work is to feel as though you have engaged in an intimate dialogue with the artist, gaining true insights into the person. His songs never deal in generalities or abstract concepts, but instead zero in on the specificity of his life experiences and choices. He approaches these issues with a critical eye, often casting himself as the flawed party, never idealizing or relying on sentiment to support the subject. What results is a complex, sometimes raw representation of life in which nothing is all good or all bad, but truly bittersweet. In short, he is doing the work of any great artist – rolling life over in his mind, twisting it and inspecting it, slowly discovering its every facet and sharing that process through the course of his music. There is a journey being shared and we aren’t simply along for the ride. We are a part of the discussion, and that is something very special.
Armed with his unvarnished poetry, Edwin crafts sophisticated musical expressions, possessing rich, full sounds that skillfully avoid the dangers of being over-produced. He accents his melodies with subtle inclusions of harmonica, organ, drums and trumpet, creating an atmosphere of active reflection in which each instrument seems to carry with it another component discovered during his emotional investigations.
Together, the elements of Edwin’s music form a portrait of an emerging artist that has already tapped into his potential and utilizes his uncanny sensibilities to offer the world remarkably well-developed music. With this as his starting point, we undoubtedly have a great deal to look forward to as he continues to grow, but to say we should expect great things from Nathan Edwin would be silly. The fact is he’s already succeeded in offering exactly that.