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When you’re a teenager, life can seem like a whirlwind of emotions and experiences as you learn how to make sense of all the pressures and expectations of approaching adulthood. At the same time there can be the overriding feeling of living in the moment and taking chances.
NSW Central Coast native Nathan Hawes has certainly done that, building confidence in his performance and songwriting abilities in a few short years before independently releasing his first EP which rose to the top of the iTunes charts in 2015 and expanded his social media following to more than 64,000 Facebook fans and 134,000 Instagram followers. With his final school year concluded he has embarked on his first national tour of Australia in January 2016, giving those thousands of fans the opportunity to see this rising talent grace their local stages at sold out shows.
There is the sense of an old soul and a considered and mature songwriter already crafting songs far beyond his years. Nathan soaks up contemporary influences as seen with his You Tube covers of Edward Sharpe (Home) and Drake (Hold On We’re Going Home) which, in combination, have already exceeded 500,000 views. He also displays a clear debt to 60s folk music as filtered through the ensuing decades.
Nathan’s major label debut EP I Wasn’t There is the songwriter appearing fully formed yet still on the cusp of exploring a hugely promising career. With all songs self-penned, he conjures a soulful, melancholic sound comparable to indie artists such as Bon Iver and James Blake as well as the emotive stylings of Ben Howard and rousing soulful folk of Fleet Foxes. Shooting to #5 on the iTunes chart earlier this year, Nathan is now excited to take his signature acoustic-folk sound around Australia.
Australian producer Jan Skubiszewski (Jackson Jackson, Way of the Eagle, Dan Sultan) has perfectly captured the songwriter’s compositions, framing them with his own additional slide guitar, synths and organ. Indeed, the pair have again been working together to shape new material Nathan has written and which he has begun sharing with audiences on his 2016 national tour.
Now, Nathan has just wrapped up his ‘I’ll Remember’ tour, taking his band around Australia in July. After consistently selling out shows within a few days on the previous tour, Nathan was thrilled to get back on the road and perform the ‘I Wasn’t There’ EP for the first time with his band.
As Nathan Hawes heads into his final year as a teenager, the world beckons and his experience of it will form the basis for his music in the years ahead. Hawes clearly already has a strong sense of self and craft yet one senses the best is still to come.