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Nathaniel Paul Releases Sophomore Album Turpentine



Following the success of his debut album, American singer-songwriter and producer Nathaniel Paul is back with his sophomore album, Turpentine which was released on 22nd March 2024. One thing I really admire about Nathaniel’s qualities as a musician is his natural ability to create such an ambient feel to his songs, which really soothe the soul and makes it such an invigorating listening experience.


When I heard the news that Turpentine was out, I was only too please to have the opportunity to check it out for myself. Consisting of 9 tracks, I will say from the outset, that this is one of those records which just adds a little bit of much needed brightness to your day, whist also opening up the opportunity to explore some of those internal thoughts that flow through our mind on a daily basis - music with a cathartic edge, a music fans absolute dream. 



The album begins with opening track Start Over, and I just love the tranquil vibes which draw you in, it is like you are stepping into a very wholesome journey, where sonically your whole body lights up whilst lyrically there is depth and are written with such beauty. As a song this touches on the topic of that situation in life where maybe its the tail end of a relationship on the brink of finishing but that moment where one person ask’s should we give it another go, start fresh. What I like about Nathaniel’s approach though is he creates this space where when put in the situation to get in tune with what we actually feel deep inside rather than brushing under the carpet in order to make the other person happy. 


For example I just love the line, ‘if you want to start over, I will see what I can do, I’m over you, I’m over you, I’ve got so much on my mind, please don’t stand me up this time’. Lyrics such as this just resonate so much for listeners like me because of the way it just takes captive of those raw and honest feelings, no sugar coating just hardcore truth. 


Setting the bar high from the start, the album moves onto the headline track, Turpentine. Full of character this is such a colourful and intricate song on so many levels, and one which really champions Nathaniel’s diversity as an artist. I just how sonically there is so much variety from what i can only describe as being funk meets psychedelia, with a touch of Nathaniel’s own personal touch. On the lyrical side of things, Turpentine is such a refreshing and uplifting song to listen to because of the way it manifests some much needed positive energy. One of my favorite lines on the song, ‘Have life, but live for dead but I gotta try and get on my feet again so I can dream’. This is the type of music which gets into your inner conscience, but with the added advantage of Nathaniel’s warm and inviting voice there to guide you along the way.



We Can’t Keep Running which follows next, is a track which I give my whole hearted respect to, because it highlights how Nathaniel has such pure talent to transform a body of music into something which flows poetically in such a natural way. The opening verse  is a perfect example of this, ‘A life Fades, a candle burns out, leaves, the darkness that's made, if we measure, how we fall, back with faded pasts’. Nathaniel Paul is a master of the art of songwriting with the power to make an impact through his words.


A third of the way through this album, and already I have so much love for this record. I love it when you pick up a record and whether you listen to it for the first time or 10 times, you still feel this magnetic bond, Turpentine is one of those special moments for sure.


I don’t want to tell you absolutely everything about this record, because this is one of those empirical occasions which can only be understood by discovering for yourself. However I will highlight just a couple more other tracks on the on the record which are hidden gems of their own kind. 


The first is Help Each Other Along. I consider this to be a little bit of the wild card but in the sense that you can see how Nathaniel is pushing himself creatively as an artist. Where the other songs have a bit more of a bit more of a relaxed and chilled vibe to them, this one has bit more intricacy to it as our loveable artists introduces us to a fusion of sounds which work so well together, symbolic of true art in the making. Plus ofcourse much like all of Nathaniel’s music the songwriting just elevates the song even more, with lines like ‘Words don’t mean nothing, nothing at all, can’t we just help each other, help each other along’ being just some of powerful examples that of how giving this song is. 



The other track it would be rude not to mention is The World We’re Living In. This one is a bit more of a stripped back acoustic number, but one which packs a punch because the focus is a lot more focused on who Nathaniel  is as a songwriter. In the past I have always wondered what makes a true lyricist.  When I have asked numerous people I have met or interviewed in the past, one common trend that always seems to be at the core, is writing with absolute honesty, being respectful with those raw feelings,  but also leaving room to delve even deeper into that vulnerability. And in the case of this song, The World We’re Living In is a perfect representation of that. When I hear for example lyrics like ‘in this life we worry, how to get ahead, the whole time we’re running, just filling our shoes with lead, coz oh oh oh it’s a funny world that we’re living in’’, it adds such a welcoming sense of calmness which makes it such an enriching song to listen to. 


So there we are just some of my thoughts on this album. Having listened to all 9 songs I would say to any new listeners out that that Turpentine is the gift that keeps on giving as there is something there for everyone. All of the songs have there own character and special uniqueness, but equally flow and intertwine is the overall energy of the album as a whole. What this album teaches us about Nathaniel Paul, is that symbolizes an artist who has the ability to add so much value to the lives of so many music fans, with Turpentine being the perfect start. 


Available on all major platforms, check out the brand new album now.


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Article By Thushara Chandrasiri

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