Nathan Gray (frontman of influential punk band, Boysetsfire) is releasing his sophomore solo album, Working Title, on January 31st from End Hits Records, and today he’s shared another new song “Refrain” and its accompanying music video. On Working Title, Gray sought to create the most accurate representation of his musical self and the resulting album captures the unique mix of punk rock urgency, power pop hooks, and singer/songwriter intimacy that has defined his prolific musical career.
Kinetic early singles “Working Title” and “Never Alone” drew praise from the likes of Kerrang, BrooklynVegan, and more, and now “Refrain” exemplifies the album’s more spare and vulnerable side. The song’s arrangement of plaintive piano and strings provides a backdrop for Gray‘s unadorned vocals and lyrics, reminding us that life’s challenges won’t stop but perhaps we can be better prepared to pick ourselves up.
Gray explained the song further saying: “’Refrain’ is such a deeply personal song to me, and it brings up intense emotions every time I hear it. Although I like to leave my pieces up for everyone to interpret in a way that is meaningful to them, I think many will find that this song resonates when reflecting on life’s great cycles – both joyful and sorrowful. No matter where the journey takes us, we all have that one steadfast center, whether it is art, love, family, friends or something else that speaks to our soul. That center is where we must reach for and hold on to in times of turbulence and chaos. In that center we find strength in the ups and downs. In that center we find ourselves free.”
Working Title follows Nathan Gray‘s 2018 solo debut, Feral Hymns, an album that represented a massive shift both for his music and his mental health. Working Title functions as a direct continuation: it’s the long but hopeful road after the breakthrough, and this time Gray isn’t traveling alone. “Making Feral Hymns took a huge burden off,” he explains. “Now with this record, I wanted to figure out how to help support other people who are in their own dark place. We’re all connected in struggle and realizing that you’re not alone can really help—you think there’s no one that can feasibly understand what you’re going through but in actuality there probably is.” Recorded by producer/engineer Pete Steinkopf of The Bouncing Souls (The Menzingers, Dave Hause, Brian Fallon) and featuring drummer Jake Blochinger (The Banner), bassist Chris Rakus (Boysetsfire, The Casting Out), and guitarist Ben Christo (Sisters of Mercy), Working Title reflects the ups and downs of Gray’s continuing journey and the communal spirit that drives it.
Nathan Gray will be touring throughout 2020 in support of Working Title, starting with a run of EU and UK dates in February, and followed by a just-announced run of North American shows. See full itinerary below.
02/14 Berlin, DE @ Columbia Theater
02/15 Münster, DE @ Sputnikhalle
02/16 Köln, DE @ Kantine
02/17 Frankfurt, DE @ Batschkapp
02/18 Hamburg, DE @ Gruenspan
02/19 Leipzig, DE @ Conne Island
02/20 Nürnberg, DE @ Hirsch
02/21 Wien, AT @ Szene
02/22 München, DE @ Backstage
02/23 Zürich, CH @ Papiersaal
02/24 Stuttgart, DE @ Wizemann
02/25 Saarbrücken, DE @ Garage
02/26 London, UK @ The Courtyard Studio
03/05 Columbus, OH @ Spacebar
03/06 Indianapolis, IN @ Black Circle Brewing Co.
03/07 Chicago, IL @ Reggies
03/08 Detroit, MI @ Smalls
03/10 Toronto, ON @ Baby G
03/11 Montreal, QC @ Turbo Haus
03/12 Portland, ME @ Geno’s Rock Club
03/13 Boston, MA @ O’Briens