Feb 27, 2023
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Kendall Rock
Seattle-based singer/songwriter Nathan Hamer has spent the last several years as a member of the rising indie outfit Kuinka, leaning into the charming edge between folk and pop music. However, lately Hamer has been teasing a new project, Babes In Canyon, which sees him digging further into warm and autumnal shades of folk. Babes In Canyon was first born of collaborative writing sessions between Hamer and his fiancee Amanda Ebert, with the line-up later rounded out by drummer and bassist Michelle Nuño. Together, the trio retreated to Hamer’s family farm to record their debut EP, Second Cities, with producer Jerry Streeter.
Last week, the band shared the full EP, and today they’re following the record’s release with a new music video for one of its highlights, “Tune You Out,” premiering with Under the Radar.
On its surface, “Tune You Out” is one of the most jangly and euphoric efforts on the record, replete with upbeat rhythms, shuffling syncopated guitars, and lithe piano accents. It even has a breezy whistled interlude carrying the track into its final chorus. Yet, beneath that effortless sheen, the track has a moodier undercurrent, exploring how people tune out the world around them to make it through the day. But while the track’s sunny vibe may just be a facade for more complicated emotions, it does offer the band space to show off some immensely catchy songwriting.
As the band explains, “’Tune You Out’ was written at a time when we were figuring out how to keep moving through daily life in the face of constant disasters, particularly environmental ones – the west coast was covered in wildfires & smoke, then landslides and flooding. It was nonstop.
About a year later when filming what was meant to be a relatively straightforward video, we couldn’t shoot certain outdoor scenes because wildfire smoke had made the air quality too dangerous. The process for creating the video was, eerily but maybe not surprisingly, echoing the process for writing the song, and we ended up with a final product that reflected that feeling of free-falling while everything around you burns.”
Check out the song and video below. Second Cities is out everywhere now.