When it comes to country music, there are few new artists experimenting with sounds and instrumentation more than Nate Green, whose EP Road Map comes out January 13. When we talked to Nate earlier this year about the EP, he opened up about the different sounds. “I think ‘Wild and Free’ was so inventive and that’s why I picked it to be the first single. It was so different and it was a good introduction to what I’m about to do,” Green says. “The EP has so many different sounds. The fast paced ones are fast and the slowed down ones are really stripped. It’s a good introduction to my style.”
His EP does indeed involve many different sounds and styles, making him a standout in a sea of sameness. The EP opens with “Ride,” a driving mid-tempo track about a west coast girl and a southern boy that perfectly sets the tone for the EP. With its themes of being free and riding on what feels good, it follows in the pattern of the album’s first single, “Wild and Free.” Of that track, Nate said, “I wrote it from such an honest standpoint. I didn’t really have a lot of stuff, I didn’t really have a lot of money or anything like that. It was kind of just going through life the way it should be,” Green says. “We’re wild and free, kinda living on love type of thing. And that was what’s important to me…so I wanted to just elaborate on that in a song.”
However, there’s another side to Nate Green and that side loves to mix up instruments and sounds more than your average country star. This is endlessly obvious on “Back Road,” which starts out with very country instrumentation before segueing into a dance chorus that tells the story of bringing someone from the city to the country. In many ways, the verse echoes the country, while the chorus is very much city. Another song that touches on his diverse influences is “Line of Fire,” which is an up-tempo track with a hip-hop break.
“No Fool” is a driving mid-tempo that tackles the subject of fame, leaving Nate questioning the price of fame, while assuring fans that “Mama didn’t raise no fool.” The song features and incredible harmonica solo, as Green ponders, “What would you do for fortune and fame? / Would you give your soul / Would you change your name?” He then asserts, “If I’m not famous before I wake / I pray the Lord my soul to take.”
While the majority of the EP features mid and up-tempo tracks, Green does have a softer side, evident on “Wake Up in Manhattan” and “Love Again.” While the former is a song full of regrets over a love lost, the latter is a touching and unselfish guitar-driven country ballad that is a true highlight of the offering. On the track, Green touches on what he’d like to happen after he passes with his family, and especially his lover. “When I go, close your eyes, and write my name in the scripture of your life,” he sings. “And don’t forget me baby, and promise me that you’ll love again.”
One thing is for certain, this EP is sure to make Nate’s loyal legion of “Wild Things” fall even more in love with their favorite singer, and we suspect that he’ll be picking up even more “Wild Things” along the route of his Road Map.
Listen to Nate Green’s “Wild and Free” here!