As we find ourselves at the beginning of another year, I hope you have had the chance to reflect. For my wife and I, this year was filled with some unexpected highs and lows – there’s so much to be thankful for.
At the end of 2019 Sara Beth was struggling with intrusive thoughts and in a rough place mentally. During the first few days of 2020 (or last few days of 2019, not totally sure – was a blur) we sat in our living room couch that we had picked up off the street that summer (very comfortable) and penned a song about how we wanted things to be different, hopefully better better at that time the next year.
Unfortunately, covid-19 shattered a lot of people’s hopes for that year, but we were able to find a peace and comfort in each other that we hadn’t had before. In a strange way it was a very great year. I also worked myself to the bone (at the time I was working for Amazon – front line worker, baby, and they let us work as much as we were willing, with some incentivized pay for hourly workers, and i worked 60 hours a week for next 2 years) and got out of debt (was making more money, but there was nowhere really open to spend it, so worked out..)
This song was released in Jan 2021, and I’m glad to say that at the start of that new year we were in a better place than when we had written the song 1 year prior.
I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading and thanks for listening.
Paulding Light is a thing that nobody is quite sure exists. A lot of people think it does, but can’t prove it, and a lot of people are convinced it doesn’t exist, but they can’t prove it either. It’s a thing in the woods near Paulding Michigan, where there is light.. but the closer you get to it, it disappears. Nobody knows what causes it, but there are a lot of theories. I have heard that NASA investigated it and couldn’t figure it out.
I learned of this while on tour in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan from a guy named Dan H. If you know, you know. It made me think of how love can be elusive. or the idea of it at least. And how you can be looking so hard for something in someone that you miss it, or maybe it was never there to begin with. Either way, it has helped me have some compassion for the times it didn’t work out. Maybe we were just looking for something in another person that wasn’t there. No hard feelings.
For a few incredible years (2016-2020?), Nathan K. existed as a 3-piece band consisting of Julian Ciany, Evan Tetrault, and myself (Nathan Klages). We played all over the Southeastern United States, and did a Michigan Tour in 2017. It was ways very fun to say “Hi I’m Nathan, and we’re Nathan K.”
Shortly after that Michigan tour, (Jan 2018) we huddled in Evan’s bedroom in East Nashville for a few days to make a record and capture our setlist. We barely had enough cables, mics, and preamps but we made something pretty special. After recording it, life got crazy, and it sat on a hard drive for many years before getting mixed and mastered by Darin Rajabian.
The recordings from these are the (Band Versions), and “Benton Harbor (Band Version)” is the first of these to be released. I wrote this song when I was living in South Bend Indiana, during the Polar Vortex. (it happened 2 years in a row! my favorite memory of the polar vortex was a billboard that had snow all the way up to the top of it and it said “paradise awaits at pure michigan. i posted a photo on instagram with the caption “propaganda”. it was funny). Originally BH was supposed to be a duo with my friend Von Strantz, but for some reason we never made it happen, not sure why. It’s about the restlessness of wanting to do big things with your life, but feeling like the cards are stacked against you. It originally ended up on an EP called “Silver Beach Boys”.
This was always one of my favorites to play with the band. Enjoy!
“Weightless” is a song about wanting to make a big change in life without having to do anything drastic. “I want to feel completely weightless without having to jump off of a plane”. It is also about wanting to find love that is so dangerous that it somehow also feels safe. Is it too much to ask? Hard to say, but it’s worth hoping for, right? I wrote this song while I was on an airplane to my friends wedding. I accidentally miscalculated the layover (thought it was 1 hr, but it was actually 13..) and recorded a demo somewhere in the Denver airport, and played around with about 50 variations on the chorus, which never felt right until a few years later when it finally clicked on the wanting a love so dangerous that it feels safe idea. I also wrote about 10 verses, but cut it down and added a nice little Motown bassline kinda thing. While the song mentions suicide, it’s more a line about boredom and restlessness. If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time day or night, or chat online. Crisis Text Line also provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741
”A Dozen” is about receiving a compliment from someone that you like, knowing that it’s not true, but choosing to bite your tongue instead of correct them, because you hope it will be true someday. You know how it goes, your crush says “you’re so sweet and kind” and you’re thinking, “nope, not at all, but ok!” cause you don’t want to ruin it. At least that’s how it always goes with me. I also was on tour in Sioux Falls, SD playing at a bar called Latitude 44 run by this wonderful lady named Cindy. It was between 2 train tracks somehow, and so during my sets, I would have to take short breaks because sometimes the trains would just be too loud for anyone to hear the music. It was great though, because Cindy would let me crash in the bar on this awesome leather couch, and in the morning I would give the keys to the guy who owned the bakery next door and he would usually give me a much needed coffee, due to the fact that Cindy would usually give me several much needed beers (luckily the couch wasn’t too far). In between a few of those beers, I overheard an awkward first date where the lady was talking about eating something terrifying to me, and the guy didn’t run away, he stayed. He was actually more interested. They were perfect for each other and I always wonder if they got married. If you live in Sioux Falls, please let me know.
”Do Do Do” is a song about awkward interactions between bands at shows, where a member of the other band is trying to compliment your set, when they were not actually watching. Picture this, your band is on tour, and just got off stage, and see the band playing after you enter the building after being outside smoking, and before asking you to use your amp, they must legally say “sick set dude” and tell you which song they liked best. But they didn’t listen, so they hum “do do do”. Close enough. “Thanks man,” you reply. “Of course you can use my amp! Stoked for your set, too!” You know how it is.
“Tryin” is about not knowing what to say, or how to say it, but trying anyway. It’s also about not knowing how to let go of the past, but giving it a shot. I hope this song helps you in some way. I wrote this at a time where I was feeling like I had nothing more to say as an artist, and this song helped me to break through creatively and was the starting point for much of the music that will follow. Tryin is the first of 4 singles that will be released over the course of the next few months.