From New England to Los Angeles, singer-songwriter and Americana recording artist Nathan Jacques releases his debut 12-track album entitled 'Loud Mind.'
Although you could describe Nathan Jacques' music as Americana, elements of country, folk, and vintage rock n' roll are deeply woven into his sprawling and cinematic soundscapes with a western edge. Instead of singing more autobiographical lyrics, Jacques prefers to write about dramatic, fictional characters and preternatural happenings of love, loss, and redemption.
Now releasing his soulful debut album, 'Loud Mind,' the venture begins with the introductory and title track, "Loud Mind," opening with a soothing acoustic guitar and soft shakers alongside Nathan Jacques' gentle and airy vocals. As he begins to fall into lyrical introspection, he tells a story of literally losing his mind and seeing his reflection while wondering where it went. The entire lyrical concept in this track is truly moving; we appreciate how the gentle instrumentation lets Nathan Jacques do his thing and tell a fictional yet compelling story of finding yourself all over again.
Nathan Jacques's second track, "Young Devil," opens with a groovy folk-rock instrumental and Jacques's clear, warm vocals are Upping the soul and rock edge. This haunting and bluesy track features a stunning background vocalist to help emphasize Nathan Jacques' conceptual message. This time around, he takes us through the tale of selling your soul to a handsome, charming "Young Devil" who promises eternity. There's a certain mysterious tone to this song that perfectly complements Nathan Jacques' gripping storytelling lyrics.
Onto track number three, "Paint Me Gold," this track opens with a foot-stomping folk instrumental that oozes in rhythm and energy. As Nathan Jacques flows his way in and begins to sing of wondering how life would be different if he were a better man, he later wishes for someone would sell his soul and paint him gold. The main focus of this track is definitely the dynamic instrumentals that add a bright yet heavy flair on the hook. That said, Nathan Jacques' vocal performance that embodies the core essence of folk-country is truly refreshing.
Maintaining that same folk-country rhythm with the fourth track, "The Fire Smells Like Rain," Nathan Jacques kicks this song intro gear with a Johnny Cash-like drum and guitar arrangement while incorporating modern alt-rock elements like sensual electric guitar riffs. Listening to Nathan Jacques' lyrical content, he paints the scene of meteors falling from the sky and crashing into the earth, wreaking havoc on the world as we know it. We must say, although we've only experienced four tracks on the record, Jacques' unconventional songwriting is truly some of the best we've ever heard.
Ramping up the energy is track number five, "Physical Forever," kicking off with a scorching hot lead guitar, a crunchy rhythm guitar, the thickest bassline, and poised, mid-tempo drums. As Nathan Jacques takes on a different performance approach, he begins to swoon us with his deepened, soulful vocals that up the song's mysterious vibe. Expanding on the song's concept, we get the feeling Jacques is running back to the themes of selling his soul and living for eternity, as this piece sees him making the most of his 'physical foreverness.'
Landing on the album's halfway point with track number six, "Cherry and Bandit," Nathan Jacques takes his sweet time and slows things down with a lush acoustic guitar melody and the softest, downtempo drums. While channeling the bright side of life through his soothing vocal portrayal, Jacques begins to paint sincere scenes of running away with his lover, only for them to become a Bonnie and Clyde-like couple. Robbing banks, taking the diamonds for themselves, staying on their feet, and making the most of every precious moment with each other.
Making our way into the project's seventh song, "Drifting," this song opens exactly how it sounds, drifting through the serene waters of the ocean and being lifted by the soothing sounds of Nathan Jacques' acoustic guitar. As he begins to serenade us, Jacques 'drifts' into a soft and deeply introspective performance, the most personal approach we've heard from the singer-songwriter thus far. We appreciate how he circles back to the album's name, reminding the man on the moon that he can call Jacques 'Loud Mind,' as his tales are just as tall as the moon man himself.
Nathan Jacques turns up the heat in track number eight, "Dream, Dream Away," opening with an exciting lead guitar and upbeat organ-like keys that ooze in soul and energy. As Jacques begins to expand on trying not to wake a lover after she's fallen asleep on his chest, he reminds himself, ain't no rest for the wicked and slowly creeps away without disturbing his darling. While the gripping and toe-tapping instrumentals continue to heat our speakers, Jacques touches on feeling his old ways linger back into his life, trying to distract his lover by encouraging her to "Dream, Dream Away."
Deepening the album's atmosphere with track number nine, "The Valley of Giants' Bones," the song opens with a melancholy acoustic guitar melody that's swiftly accompanied by an ominous, heavy kick drum and Nathan Jacques's whispery and chilling vocals. While setting the scene of the hazy and dead valley of giants' bones, his ghost reacquaints itself with the spirit of a past lover as they engage in a quiet waltz. Massive instrumental bursts explode throughout the song while Nathan Jacques circles back to missing his mind after losing it on track number one.
Slowing it down with the tenth track, "Summertime," Nathan Jacques channels his folk-country influences and displays one of the most beautiful and lush songs on the record. While the soothing and light instrumentation continues to flow through our speakers like a summer waterfall, Jacques reminds us of the simple things in life that we only enjoy in the heat of the summer. This song feels like the album's turning point, where Jacques begins to figure out how to hush his 'Loud Mind' and experience the beauty of his surroundings.
Continuing to bask in his surroundings on the eleventh track, "Hold My Hand," the song gently opens with a soft acoustic guitar melody and Nathan Jacques' vocals that sing of feeling like a hollowed-out version of himself. He quickly switches up the instrumentation with the addition of soulful drum breaks and a heavy lead guitar while asking the mountain tops and riverbeds if they ever get lonely. Jacques then drops into a magnetic hook with high-energy instrumentals and lyrics that reminisce on past love while yearning to experience life with that special someone.
Reaching the album's final and outro track, "Quiet Mind," this track is the accumulation of the lessons learned throughout the record while Nathan Jacques displays his present love for someone close to his heart. The song opens with a gentle and softspoken introduction that gradually builds in emotion and country-folk approaches while Jacques reflects on being lost at sea, watching the world change right before his eyes, and sinking into a quieter mind. The song's last third blasts off with an exhilarating and emotionally-rich alt-rock instrumental, perfectly closing the album on a note of inner success.
Experience the thorough, cathartic, and complex journey of Nathan Jacques' 12-track album, 'Loud Mind,' now available on all digital streaming platforms.