Bay Area indie electro-pop artist Nathan Germick has just released his brand new track 'Happy Place', alongside the heartfelt music video, as the second single from his upcoming album 'Goldenboy'.
'Goldenboy' serves as the debut release for Nathan, having spent most of the 2000's fronting genre-bending band Planet Booty touring with the likes of Lizzo, Ninja Sex Party, Capital Cities, and others before making his exit in 2016. With Goldenboy, Germick takes cues from early synth/new-wave legends like Talking Heads and Peter Gabriel as well as contemporaries like Thom York and Sufjan Stevens. The record touches on zeitgeist themes of technology, the dawn of the digital age, and its influence on our culture. Through the course of ten songs, Germick distills intimacy and vulnerability while simultaneously being sonically rich.
We had the opportunity to speak with Nathan on the new single and what we can expect from the album as part of our get to know series...
Introduce yourself and tell us a bit about you!
"Howdy, my name's Nathan. I'm a producer/songwriter/keyboardist with midwestern roots that's spent most of my adult life in the Bay Area."
When did you start making music?
"I started taking piano lessons in middle school and started getting into playing in bands in High School. I studied Music at Grinnell College in IA."
Where are you from and what’s your favourite thing about it? Do you feel as though your surroundings have inspired your sound in any way?
"I grew up in Indiana in the semi-rural outskirts of Chicagoland. I moved to the Bay Area after college. Lake Michigan, Indiana Dunes, and Chicago will always have a special place in my heart. It's hard to say how that experience translates sonically. Maybe an appreciation for humility and sincerity can be attributed to a Midwestern influence. Similarly, growing up in the confines of a small town can foster a desire to branch out and explore, which could help explain how I ended up in the Bay Area."
Who are your biggest inspirations, musically?
"That's a tough list to narrow down. I think in relation to my solo work, I draw a lot of inspiration from artists who can be both sonically adventurous while still maintaining an element of emotional vulnerability. I'm drawn to a combination of sonically interesting production and songwriting that packs an emotional punch: Bjork, Peter Gabriel, Radiohead, Sufjan Stevens, and Bon Iver all come to mind. There are also a lot of contemporary electronic producers like Floating Points, Four Tet, and Jon Hopkins that provide production inspiration."
You've just released your brand new track ‘Happy Place’! Tell us a little about it! "'Happy Place' along with the rest of 'Goldenboy' was written and recorded at my home studio in Berkeley during quarantine. That song is essentially about finding inspiration in your immediate surroundings and using creative pursuits to overcome feelings of anxiety and isolation. I think that was a common theme for many of us during this past year."
Do you have a favourite lyric in particular from the release?
"Honestly, "I hope that we find our happy place, it has to be something we create" is probably my favorite. There's nothing particularly clever or eloquent about it. But it pretty much sums up the spirit of the song."
The track is accompanied by a music video - what was the inspiration behind the visuals?
"The song is all about appreciating your immediate surroundings and using creativity to work through feelings of desperation and isolation. During quarantine, my wife started drawing comics that chronicled that experience. My son, Orion, started making videos as a creative outlet. My son, Harrison, spent a lot of time playing piano. And my son, Solomon got really into biking. I made an album and learned the basics of video editing. So the video is a sem-surreal take on the things we did to keep ourselves sane and inspired during that time. We made the whole thing together in our backyard. It was our family project for a few weeks."
Your debut album is due for release later this month which is super exciting! How have you found making music over the past year which has been especially difficult for artists and creatives?
"I think for artists that rely on live performance and collaboration, it was really tough. But for me, it suited making an introspective electronic solo album pretty well. But I'm definitely looking forward to collaborating with actual humans again soon."
It is called ‘Goldenboy’ - does that have a meaning behind it?
"'Goldenboy' was a nickname that my siblings gave me when we were growing up in Indiana. They would jokingly tease me about getting preferential treatment for being the oldest (of 5 kids)."
What can we expect from the album? Any key themes, stories or inspirations that run throughout?
"It's going to sound overly pretentious to try to articulate this. But the core of the album is about the struggle to realize one's own potential. Whether it's self doubt, or social media, or the economic realities of trying to be an artist that's holding one back-- it's never too late to start being the best version of yourself."
What have you got planned for the rest of 2021 so far?
"New music and new videos are in the works. And like I said, I very much look forward to playing music with other humans again soon."
The Lowdown is an online blog & print entertainment platform for music discovery featuring the very best in both established and upcoming talent. Find the latest news, reviews, interviews with your favourite artists and grab tickets to upcoming gigs & tours.