Nathan Irving – “Crossword”


Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Nathan Irving weaves beautiful crossword-minded imagery and symbolism within a stirring folk sound on “Crossword,” written during the 2020 lockdown and capturing the loneliness of bearing witness to other relationships. Understated acoustics and heartfelt vocals become joined by emotive cello and creaking piano, captivating with its emotive vocal ferocity and gorgeous chamber-folk inclinations.

The track’s vocals swell from barely discernible, understated intrigue into an ardent confidence by mid-point. The “waitress back in Aspen,” section, in particular, rouses with an impassioned vocal escalation alongside a concise symphonic burst. Thereafter, gentle piano, acoustic strums, and lingering strings combine with “oh,” vocal emotion for a spine-chilling impact. “Crossword” proves magnetic in its from-the-heart lyrical prowess and beautifully expansive folk production.

The project represents the work of Nate Flaks, formerly half of Sleeping Lion.

This and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of October 2023’ Spotify playlist.

The track is also featured in the genre-based, best-of Spotify compilation Emerging Indie Folk.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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