Nathan Ball - 'Call It Love'
Nathan Ball is back with another beautiful banger, ‘Call It Love’.
London based, Cornwall reared Nathan Ball’s music is, at its core, indie-folk. But it manages to hammer out its own cranny in the coastal landscape that provides him with his inspiration. Nathan’s sound manages to be as calming and peaceful as it is emotionally stirring and powerful, and that’s exactly what you can expect from ‘Call It Love’.
Opening with Nathan’s heart-wrenching vocals over some gentle guitar, some haunting keys and, somewhat paradoxically, the song manages to conjure the sound of a void. It gives off the feeling that there’s nothing out there other than his vocals and the gentle instrumentals behind them. It’s a song that you can easily get lost in (a feeling enhanced ten fold if played through noise-cancelling headphones) and the lyrics reflect this, with the gentle croon of “tripping over myself... falling into empty space”. The lyrics and music of the track are perfectly entwined, seeming to feed off of their respective energies and fighting for poignant dominance, and the song is all the better for it.
Things change slightly at the chorus, with the slow, almost lethargic introduction of a drum beat and the effortless soaring of Nathan’s voice during the chorus, alongside some beautifully bleak harmonies. The chorus managed to be both intensely melancholic and wistful while at the same time strangely optimistic, acting as a groyne to prevent the verses from washing the listener away, leaving them stranded and lost.
Musically, the song seems deceptively simple, yet the ponderous instrumentation does as much to craft the song as Nathan himself, managing to build up and create its enveloping desperation. In this way it managed to mirror its inspiration, that of nature as Nathan explains: “I love being totally immersed in nature so naturally those themes find their way into the music. I love being in the ocean – just being in it, and feeling totally insignificant. It’s a reminder of the order of things.”
This idea of being a small part of a large whole perfectly sums up what it’s like to listen to the track. That idea of being in the vast ocean and feeling insignificant is a reflection of closing your eyes and wallowing in the wistful tones of the track. Having seen Nathan live multiple times (most recently at an in-store session in Exeter, the university of which he attended many years ago, and the one in which I am currently at) I can only imagine that the song will be even more powerful live.
Words of James O’Sullivan