Building from a one-man bedroom project, North Carolinian musician Nathan Oliver has developed a unique perspective on tangled rock stories. With three albums released over 15 years, he has grown into something of a prized musical secret for the Old North State. Doused in pop-leaning arrangements and catchy sing-along choruses that amble around in your head for days, his songs are immediately engaging and overflowing with clever twists and rhythmic turns.
On his forthcoming record Thank You for Your Generosity, which is scheduled for an October 23 release, Oliver (alongside musicians Joe Caparo and Brad Porter) has created something denser and more ragged, though it’s a sound which still rings with the occasional bit of playful wandering. Work on the album began shortly after the death of Oliver’s brother in late 2017, with the title being both a reference to the wonderful times he had spent with his brother and to the formalities of grief which he was processing at the time.
This new album feels more structured than his earlier releases, more collaborative in nature as well. This is due mainly to the fact that, instead of Oliver forming these songs on his own and then bringing them to the band, they were stretched and shaped through a months-long process between himself, Caparo, and Porter. There’s an organic foundation explored which allows room for these tracks to breathe and bloom free of expectation and any singular musical perspective.
With their latest single “Even If You Go”, the band expounds upon the emotional crux of the record: the relationship between Oliver and his sibling. It acts as a centerpiece, tying all the musical and experiential threads together in a breathtaking display of vulnerability and ache. Recalling the subtle and inimitable guitar tones of early Built to Spill and Beat Happening, Oliver doesn’t go for all out catharsis; rather, he conjures something more deeply personal and reserved – an inward and quiet thunder that conveys the anguish and terror of losing someone that close, while also using a series of rapturous memories to celebrate their life.