Premiere: Dead Soft Frontman Nathaniel Epp Shares New Single “Middleman”

Jan 03, 2023

By Caleb Campbell


Today, Nathaniel Epp一frontman of the Vancouver indie punk outfit Dead Soft一is sharing the first release under his new solo moniker, Nat. After over a decade of making grunge-laden punk with Dead Soft, his first solo venture sees Epp shifting into an acoustic singer/songwriter mold, leaning on influences from Neil Young and Elliot Smith while shading the record with touches of atmospheric electronics.

Psychopathesque Mixtape Vol. I, Nat’s first full-length record is due out in the spring of this year, and today he has accompanied the announcement with a listen to the record’s first single, “Middleman,” premiering with Under the Radar.

“Middleman” is the perfect offering to accompany those post-New Year blues, bringing forth notes of yearning isolation and spare pastoral beauty. The track opens on ramshackle acoustic guitar and Epp’s dreamy falsetto before ascending into a jangly and emphatic chorus. The stark acoustic presence and longing vocals undeniably call to mind Elliot Smith, a comparison made even more apt with the track’s self-effacing lyrics一“Can’t make deals with myself / ‘Cause I’m a dealbreaker / Fingers crossed behind my back handshaker / Blows my mind, I fool myself every time / Like I’m trying to escape some feeling.”

Epp says of the track, “The core of ‘Middleman’ was written a few years ago during some dreary winter times. As I worked on it periodically I would add little pieces and sounds here and there until it slowly came to life. I find it interesting working on a song over a prolonged period of time. It seems to imbue deeper meaning into a song when it is approached from different perspectives and can come to reflect the experiences and lessons learned along the way.”

Check out the song below. Psychopathesque Mixtape Vol. I is due out later this year.

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