Songs can be lots of things, and they can be listened to in many ways for many different reasons. Some seem to slip effortlessly into day to day life, some stop you in your tracks. The new release from Nixon Tate is certainly the latter.
Gentle & Ruthless is the product of Tate’s work with Manchester’s The Untold Orchestra and from the first solitary piano key is an encapsulating three minutes of honest, blissful, sweet music.
From Stoke, Tate plied his trade with The Honey Club, who earned a support slot with Blur man Graham Coxon in 2018. It’s the appointment that would sew the seed for going solo, of which Gentle & Ruthless is the first fruit, from an upcoming four-track EP.
“It’s a fleeting internal conversation about old relationships and questioning how things managed to go awry” says Tate on his debut track, who manages with producer Thom Twemlow to create a song that ebbs so beautifully yet tells the story of confusion and self-doubt.
It’s not hard to see why Radio 6 Music, who are currently spinning Arlo Parks’ track Black Dog, a similar exploration of internal conflict, were keen on Tate in his previous form. But this song also has that melancholic desperation that Badly Drawn Boy so well emitted out of drizzly Manchester.
It is sort of heartbreaking, and kind of uplifting, and that alone is a beautiful thing.