“Bellows’ deep vocals and rich melodies, [and] delicate atmospheres, powerful in their emotive beauty.” – New Noise Magazine
NEW YORK CITY (January 2, 2022) – My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Nova joins Nathaniel Bellows on the single “One Small Thing,” to be released on January 26 through Harmon Blunt Music.
“One Small Thing” imagines an internal and external space of reprieve, peace, and calm, away from our present day’s environments of tension, challenge, and turmoil. The song asks the question: If such an idealized place seems out of reach, what are the “small things” we can do today to make such a space feel possible?
Bellows selected the musicians who performed on “One Small Thing” based on his appreciation for their subtle, artistic approach, and their ability to connect to–and express–the emotional core of a song. Nova contrasts Bellows’ low, gravelly voice with soaring, angelic vocals. Malcolm Burn’s nuanced bass lines organically cleave the melody, singing in a beautiful, thoughtful way. Steve Decker’s open, impressionistic, even jazz-inflected drumming breathes new life into the architecture of the song through a varied series of textures and undercurrents.
The contrast of growing up surrounded by the quiet beauty of the natural world in rural New England and now living in New York City’s urban landscape creates tension in Bellows’ music. The songs are an ongoing dialogue between internal, reflective wonder and an external sense of outward, urgent searching.
Bellows works in three creative fields simultaneously–writing, music, and visual art– exploring a cohesive artistic point of view among the three mediums to undergird his songs. He says, “I explore emotional terrain with these various creative outlets in an attempt to understand–through different vantage points–what matters to me.” He writes about memory, affect, family, legacy, the natural world, human frailty, injury, redemption, and resilience. He says, “I’m interested in unresolved images and fragments of unfinished thought and dialogue.” The engine of most of his work–writing, music, and artwork–is the constant process of reconciling the past while existing, in an ever-changing state, in the present day.
About Nathaniel Bellows
Nathaniel Bellows has released three albums. ‘The Old Illusions’ (2016) was produced with Aaron Roche and features David Garland, DM Stith, and Alex Sopp. Bellows recorded his second album, ‘Swan and Wolf’ (2018), by himself in Maine and eventually created a limited edition hardcover book of each of the ten song’s illustrations. His most recent album, ‘Three’ (2020), was produced by Malcolm Burn (Emmylou Harris, Neil Young, Bob Dylan). All three albums were released on his label Harmon Blunt Music. Bellows has also released two albums with the composer Sarah Kirkland Snider: ‘Unremembered’ (2015; New Amsterdam) and ‘Mass for the Endangered’ (2020; Nonesuch/New Amsterdam).
Bellows is also the author of two novels–On This Day (HarperCollins) and Nan (Harmon Blunt)–and a collection of poetry, Why Speak? (WW Norton). His writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Narrative, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, The Yale Review, The Best American Short Stories, and many other magazines, periodicals, and websites.
Praise For “One Small Thing”
“a track that works like a musical hug in which we all heal our souls a bit” – R+
“great to hear on those days when we seek a little peace through music” – Roadie Music