Nathan Earl & Rachel Joy Bring a Joyful Calm on Repose

Nathan Earl and Rachel Joy recently released their debut full-length album, Repose, which is full of Americana style indie rock songs that contemplate spirituality and the kind of metaphors and lyrics you would hear from a lovely gospel choir.

Repose opens up with a heartfelt track written in reflection of the “Father of All Roads,” where Nathan calmly exclaims like a child, I will trust in you all through the wild. The track is simple in structure, and the added violins and piano add some depth to the serene atmosphere. Rachel’s vocals sound phenomenal on “Beggar,” a poppy number where the duo continues to dwell on their humbleness, I’m just a beggar, I’m just an empty box, I’m just a sinner, dressed in clean clothes, and ability to find peace through comforting relationships. “Lay Down” stands out through its intriguing drum beats, fluid songwriting, and an empowered delivery from Nathan, largely about accepting things for how they are. As the track progresses, some speedy guitar riffs and intertwining gang vocals are introduced in a grand chorus that ultimately brings the song to its end. “Near Me Again” and “Hunter” are two different takes on a love song, the first soft and sentimental and the second heavier with bass and electric guitar, as Nathan likens being caught in love to being caught after running away.

The soaring title track, “Repose,” feels lifted up instrumentally and lyrically, especially in the glistening chorus that Rachel sings, Oh, cause you’re my hope, and you hold me steady / You’re my one repose when the waves get heavy. The band then introduces vocal effects and a driving rhythm section that leads into a calmly shredding guitar. “Atmosphere” builds throughout in its entirety, starting in a ghostly state only to end up jamming on a grungy riff in its hectic final moments. The last track off the album, “Brighter,” ends on a resolute note. Nathan somberly sings I’m gonna find my way to you, and I’m gonna die each day till I do and goes on to share advice about where to look to truly find light. As the end of the track grows near, pounding drums give way to an explosion of guitar, bass, and a shouting Alan Popoli. This very intense and heated moment ends the album with a sense of passion, and Popoli’s gritty voice works in unison with Rachel’s backing vocals and the thumping beat to convey the feeling of realized salvation.

Repose is a overall a soft, reflective album that is great for when you find yourself pondering life and how to better yourself. Nathan Earl and Rachel Joy’s skill for composing catchy songs that captivate the spirit is apparent in their melodies and atmospheres, and the help of some other musicians gave them room to experiment like they notably did on “Brighter.”

Stream the album on bandcamp below, and catch Nathan Earl and Rachel Joy playing this Saturday 3/21 at Bourbon and Branch with The Captain The Pilot The Driver, Brian Medlin and The Elk Band, and Last Full Measure. Get tickets here, and more information here. They’ll also be at the Melodies Cafe in Ardmore on Friday 4/02, get tickets here.

Photo by Kate Saurman.

1 Comment

  1. Angelique Platas

    March 21, 2015 at 10:27 am

    This is a great article, love the music and definitely want to hear more from this genre.

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