Richly situated between the springiness of the rhythm and a cushy percussive element, Neil Nathan’s lead vocal is undeniably the strongest of several powerful melodic components to behold in the new single “Be Still My Ever Beaten Heart,” but it’s not the lone reason to give this song a listen right now. Rather than compromising a concept by making it singular or threaded by one component exclusively over another, Nathan explores his depth as a singer through a system of smart verses that challenge standards in songcraft, making this so much more intriguing than what the average pop single can ever account for.
The guitar parts in this track are just as enamoring as the vocal parts, and one is likely to get lost in the balance of the harmony as much as they would the texture of the rhythm. There’s a raised quality to all of the instrumentation that highlights just how much work was being put in behind the board and what is sourced from organic performance stylization, and the latter proves to be the more important element by leaps and bounds. There’s more to discover within Nathan’s sound, but from here, all we can do is wait to see what he can do on stage.
There’s implicit darkness to the music video for “Be Still My Ever Beaten Heart” that contrasts with some of the undertones of the song itself, but it’s through this contrast that we really start to appreciate what is most important to a composer like Nathan. He isn’t getting hung up on the cosmetic intricacies some of his contemporaries would be spending the entirety of the track trying to thrust towards us; this is about the collective, and his versatile swing behind the microphone affirms as much around every verse in the track.
This is a lot less retro in tone and style than some of the previously released content I’ve heard from Nathan, but then again, nothing he’s produced thus far has ached with an out-of-date framework. Where classical concepts were working a little better for him previously, he’s moved into something a bit more in the here and now aesthetically speaking, and I think this look is doing a lot for his music just based on how much swagger he’s able to muster up in this recording of “Be Still My Ever Beaten Heart.”
Neil Nathan has been doing some great things in recent times, but his desire to explore his poetic depth in this single is perhaps one of the smartest and most exciting elements I’ve come across in his discography so far. He’s not giving up on getting the most out of his dynamics as they stand without anything else assisting him, and based on how much he’s been able to accomplish to date, I believe we’re going to continue to see a lot of important growth and stylistic development as he continues making music in and outside of the recording studio – a venue he’s clearly come to dominate.
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