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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Alt-Country & Australian Americana Artist Nathan Seeckts Releases Second Album

By Megan Routledge.

Geelong, Victoria, Alt-Country and Australian Americana artist Nathan Seeckts proudly releases his second album Something Rare And Beautiful on vinyl, CD and digital formats, ahead of his NSW, VIC & ACT tour dates. In 2019 Nathan Seeckts released his debut album The Heart Of The City, an album that was nominated for Country Album of The Year at the 2019 Music Victoria Awards and which delivered on the promise of numerous live shows and a string of EPs across the preceding decade. Now, three years later, we get to hear Seeckts' new album, the next exciting step in the evolution of one of this country's finest alt-country songwriters. For the recording of his second album, Nathan returned to Union Street Studio in Melbourne to collaborate with producer Roger Bergodaz, assembling many of the key players from The Heart Of The City sessions to help build upon the sound and energy he captured the first time around. On Something Rare and Beautiful Nathan found himself focusing more on nostalgic stories from his past and digging down into who he is at this point in his life.

"I was at a stage where personally things were heading in a more positive direction and I really wanted to capture that feeling of hope in the songs and when we laid everything down in the studio.

I became acutely aware of all the rare and beautiful moments rushing by us that we often take for granted in our lives and also the thousands of rare and beautiful elements of ourselves as human beings."

Musically Nathan's found that sweet-spot between the honesty of alt-country, the wider palette of Americana and a harmonious blend of ragged electric guitar, organic acoustic guitars, violin and horns, and a rock-leaning rhythm section.

From their acoustic beginnings, the songs took on new life in the studio as layers of instruments and backing vocals were added and they "began to lift, shine and take on a driving, anthemic sound that I really hadn’t expected to discover when I had demoed them," recalls Nathan. With guests including Gretta Ziller, Tom Brooks (Georgia State Line) and Nathaniel Sametz (The Teskey Brothers), the songs took on a rich and resonant sound, the perfect country-rock canvas for Nathan's songwriting and commanding vocal style.

Seemingly hewn from Bellarine Peninsula basalt, Nathan’s voice is imbued with all the heart worn grit of Steve Earle and the earthy delivery of Lucero's Ben Nichols and American Aquarium's BJ Barham. You'll find the power and passion of his singing right across the album, high on emotion but never at the expense of melody and lyrical impact.

Songs like the title-track and 'Goodnight Bluebird' dance beautifully from the speakers while 'Little Church' paints pictures as evocatively as Drive-By Truckers' Mike Cooley. 'Measured and Wanting' and 'Cassette In The Tapedeck' sound like lost Jason Isbell classics and that annoying gig-goer is perfectly skewered on 'King Of The Room'. "Cory Branan once told me, “There’s a special place in hell for people who talk during a show!” says Nathan.

'The Wildest Thing' (which premiered by Henry Wagons on Double J's Tower of Song and featured on CMT) was a stellar first single that immediately hits an alt-country sweet spot with twanging guitar, a wistful, rolling rhythm and an irreverent video clip.

The rousing and emotive follow-up single 'Cassette In The Tapedeck' (which premiered on Countrytown and The Outpost on 2SER and has been playlisted on CMT) dials into the deep love that Australians have for the 1970s golden age of cars such as the LC Torana. As Seeckts explains, "I wrote this song for my Dad, the first hero I ever had. My musical journey and love of 80’s heartland storytelling began in the front seat of his 1970 LC Torana." It's a song that's struck a strong connection with live audiences courtesy of its big singalong chorus and swaying rhythm. Fittingly, the album takes its title from a song that seemed to sum up Nathan's creative process and personal journey through the writing of these new songs. "For me, the title Something Rare and Beautiful is exactly what music is. Whether I'm playing a show or watching a band, it's the thing that brings me together with people for moments that are truly rare and beautiful. I can walk into a gig and be a beer and handshake away from being best friends with someone for life, dining out on stories about that one show we were all at for years after the fact. For me, it's The Great Uniter. For me it's Something Rare and Beautiful."


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