Nathan Ball is a singer-songwriter living in Cornwall and he grew up playing and listening to music so he knew he had to make it a living. “It’s been pretty good thanks,” Nathan expresses on his 2021 to this date. “Obviously quite a weird one with whatever is going on in the world, but I’ve released an album and I’m living in a beautiful part of the world so I can’t complain too much.”
Yeh, it feels so amazing to put it out in the world. It feels like it’s a real snapshot of an amazing time in my life and to have this record as a reminder of it is something I’ll forever be grateful for. — Nathan Ball on the release of his debut album
Nathan’s debut album ‘Under the Mackerel Sky’ covers a lot of themes really, there are relationships, heartbreak, love, loneliness, fear, and euphoria. It was a time of great change in Nathan’s life and that’s what this record is about and what the title represents.
“It’s taken from a line in a poem by Sir John Betjeman and a mackerel sky to sea folk means a change is coming, usually in terms of the weather like a storm is on its way, but I liked the idea that a change was coming in all of our lives from the wild times we’ve found ourselves in,” Nathan explains.
This is the type of EP that kept its entire meaning, a lot of the songs have taken on different meanings for Nathan now that they’re out: “It’s strange writing a song that means so much to you at the time, then you listen back and it reminds you of that feeling and also sparks new ones,” Nathan continues. “I guess that’s the power and wonder of music, that it can soundtrack a feeling in your life and spark off a whole new journey.”
To be honest it was pretty much the same as ever. — Nathan Ball on the creative process of his debut album.
Nathan worked with Max Rad on this album, who is his best pal. The two best pals built a studio in an old farmhouse by the sea down in Cornwall and took their time over making the record. “We’d surf when the waves pumped and take days off when the sun was shining,” Nathan states. “It was a truly amazing time and it makes me very emotional whenever I listen to the songs and think about those few months.”
All of the songs on the record are stories or feelings from some point in the last few years of Nathan’s life. As a musician he feels very blessed that he has an outlet of songwriting to write down any feelings, it’s a strange therapy of sorts for him. But for some reason instead of confiding in someone, Nathan puts it out into the world for everyone else to hear.
“That’s a tough question, I keep changing my favourites on there,” Nathan expresses on his favourite songs off the album. “I’d probably say My Answer as that sums up the kind of hopeful, melancholic euphoria that flows through the album. It’s an emotive song but also feels like you want to belt it from the top of a rooftop.”
Whilst this is a well-rounded album that fits the purpose of many stories, there were a couple of songs that did not make it on the album. But for Nathan, they just didn’t quite fit the overall theme and sound of the album. In fact, he toyed with them for a while but there was no real place for them. Maybe they’ll come out one day.
“I don’t like to tell the meaning of songs too much as I want the listeners to take away their own emotions and messages from the songs,” Nathan adds. “I just want to make them feel something that’s all, that’s what I love about music, it can totally transport you to another place and make you feel insanely high or totally rip your heart out.” In saying that, it is safe to say that Nathan is the type of person that truly believes if his music can help one person get through something in their life then that makes the whole album worthwhile for him.
2021 looks to be a busy time for Nathan and his team as they are heading out on the road through the UK then onto Europe at the end of November, which Nathan really excited about: “It’s going to feel so good playing these songs live to an audience and exploring these cities around Europe,” Nathan says.