Release Date: 31/01/2020
Record Label: End Hits Record
For Fans Of: Boysetsfire, The Casting Out, Chuck Ragan
Consider this a warning; Nathan Gray’s sophomore release, Working Title, is uplifting, it’s wholesome, and it’s infectious. If you’re reading this review in the hope that you’re going to unearth anything different from those things then I’m sorry to disappoint you. However, stick around because this might just be the album you didn’t know you needed in your life…
After two decades fronting post-hardcore outfit, Boysetsfire, Nathan Gray embarked on a solo career that began with, Feral Hymns. Unlike his first effort, Working Title sees the presence of a full band on the record, as well as a more uplifting song-writing style. The album sings of growth and support, bearing its heart on its sleeve for all to see, but feeling comfortable in doing so.
The album wavers between heart-pounding, heart-breaking and heart-warming with impressive ease, and doesn’t allow you to grow too comfortable with any emotion before it propels you in another direction. Tracks like ‘In My Defense’, ‘What About You’ and ‘Hold’ are passionate, ferocious and stirring; bursting at the seams with enough energy and positivity to brighten the darkest of days. Meanwhile, ‘Mercy’, ‘Still Here’ and ‘Down’ are powerful, moving and pensive in style, but the lyrics are nothing short of inspirational. Albums of this ilk run the risk of coming across preachy but this is never the case with Working Title.
The Maryland-based Nathan Gray excels with his songwriting on the album with the title track and ‘No Way’ just two examples of that. In fact, there’s not a song on the album that isn’t proof of this. The craftsmanship of blending poetic lyrics, pop hooks, and acoustic intimacy is a joy to behold from start to finish.
Working Title is an emotional rollercoaster, but it’s a ride that you’ll be straight back on once you’ve finished. Nathan Gray has produced an album that does not flatter to deceive, instead it soars and reaches great heights. This album is an example of an artist at the top of their game and here’s to hoping it continues.
Recommended Track: ‘What About You’