Track Review: California // Nathan Dies

Fusing cultural elements of his Brazil and the United States, US-based Brazilian Nathan Dies is a unique multi-instrumentalist with an obscure perspective. Raised on idealised American films, as many Millenials were, their music revolves around reality as it is imagined and seen. They might be described as art-pop, but the experimental nature of their music makes it difficult to label their sound. A relatively new kid on the block, Nathan Dies might be a new fish in a large ocean, however, they have already received coverage on several notable blogs and playlists. Today, I introduce you to their music with the single ‘California’.



One of the singles on Nathan Dies’ debut album Instinto, ‘California’ is a combination of experimental synths, percussion and an acoustic-inspired vocal arrangement. Ethereal and whimsical, the underlying melody takes you along a glassy lake in a warm bubble of sound. Yet, while the lake may be smooth above, there is a tumultuous swirl below – the larger part of the iceberg, if you will. The flowing arrangement and profound lyricism showcase a deeper connection and complex understanding of modern-day society.

Exploring the “perspective on the romanticism of the idea of love and agony that exists in Hollywood”, ‘California’ is an anthemic exploration of that concept of “happily ever after like in the movies”. The otherworldly melody melds effortlessly with Nathan Dies’ dulcet vocals making it a pleasant ride, however, the conceptual theme of the track includes a melancholic “it isn’t all that” element to reality.

Known for singing in both Portuguese and English, the multi-instrumentalist pulls together cross-country influences and shares it with their audience. I find a strong reminiscence to Portuguese crooner Salvador Sobral with the tender, heartfelt and melancholic tones. The one difference is that Nathan Dies takes risks and displays eclectic talent in all his songs while Sobral can easily be described as a jazz musician. I cannot wait for more from Nathan Dies.

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