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Interview: Nathan Ball


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“An emotional rollercoaster and a few naughty guitar solos”, is what we can apparently expect from singer/songwriter, Nathan Ball, at this year’s Barn on the Farm festival. He sounds like a musical tease.

Nathan Ball

Ball joins the likes of  The Staves, James Bay, Prides, Amber Run and Lauren Aquilina at Over Farm, Gloucestershire, for the event’s sixth year.

With Ed Sheeran and Ben Howard having previously headlined in 2011, Barn on the Farm has undoubtedly stamped its name onto this year’s festival calendar.

Following the release of his latest EP, Howling, Nathan tells me a little bit about this year’s festival and how there’s “no room for egos there”.

“We were lucky enough to be invited to play last year and it stood out by a mile for us. It's full of genuine music lovers and the line-up is always insane.”

“It also has the most amazing vibe, and all the artists wander round and listen to everyone too.”

“I'm really looking forward to playing with our full band setup there and playing some of the new songs. I think I'm most looking forward to seeing Rhodes, Racing Glaciers and the Staves and of course our pals from Amber Run.”

Nathan rose to musical fame having previously supported aforementioned Amber Run as well as Mercury Award winning alt-J, Chasing Grace (also appearing at the festival) and Gabrielle Aplin.

“Chasing Grace smashed it last year too so it'll be great to see them play again.”

With there being a significant aural difference between Aplin and alt-J, one begins to wonder what Nathan’s music sounds like. He tells me “it’s a kind of Alt-Folk thing, but we've had a couple of reviews of the latest EP saying it's very Pink Floyd-esque, so somewhere between the two I guess.”

“”It's pretty haunting and dark in places, but still got a little folky feel to it.”

There’s a sense of unease and urgency to Nathan’s music. You know there’s importance behind every syllable of every lyric which makes each of his EP tracks so much more accessible, genuine and painfully honest.

“I tend to just mess about with the guitar and write a vocal melody, and then write the lyrics somewhere that I feel most inspired, which tends to be in the mountains or by the sea. I then bring that to [band mates] Max, Will and Cat to find out their take on the song and see where we go from there.”

Nathan tells me that Daughter always pops up in his playlists and suddenly his style is defined. It’s as if Daughter’s little brother is just about to graduate; expect big things.

See Nathan Ball at Barn on the Farm Festival.

For more information visit his Facebook and website.   

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