"14 sumptuous titles, subtly orchestrated, with bright harmonies on the voice of Nick who breathes poetic charm in every word... Nick Batterham's writing is currently one of the best on the international indie scene... he writes and describes his feelings, dark or bright, sets them to music like a silversmith, arranges and harmonizes like a sculptor. Golden Boy is epithelial, authentic, fits in the intimate, embraces and becomes a monument of delicacy." - Marie-Agnes Halle, Piggledypop, France
At first you might think the big hooks, jangling guitars and layers of harmonies on ʻNothing lastsʼ – the glorious, infectious radio-hit-in-waiting second track on Golden Boy – donʼt fit with the rest of the albumʼs generally sparse and subtle landscape. In fact, ʻNothing lastsʼ, which is as accomplished a pop song as anything Batterham wrote for The Earthmen, fits the mood of this album to a tee.
Batterhamʼs previous record, Self Inflicted, No Sympathy (2015), was his darkest album by far. It was 3am set to music, with no hint the night would ever end. Golden Boy wears the scars,but it is not bleak or sunk in self-loathing. The darkness is still there,but it is starting to be shot through with the golden light of approaching dawn.
We get the possibilities of a future. “I can be stronger, if you could do the same for me,” Batterham promises on ʻNo excusesʼ. “Do you believe in romantic love,” he asks in ʻLostʼ. Whether addressing a departed lover or giving himself advice, the desire, the need for human
connection is at the heart of every song.
“Give me a little bit, more often; I donʼt want to be demanding,” Batterham whispers/sings in ʻImpossibleʼ, a key track driven by gorgeous warm bass, chiming piano notes and otherworldly
cathedral vocals in the chorus. Tentatively reaching out, hoping to connect, to bond, but fearing “this may be impossible”.
The realisation that daring to trust is the only way to grow is apparent in the sumptuous title track too, where Batterham sings, “find a new song and sing true, so everything behind you
Golden Boy is a superbly recorded album. Every element has room to breathe and Batterhamʼs voice has never sounded more intimate.
Several songs are achingly short, leaving the listener wanting more and contributing to the overwhelming impression that everything is finite, but while we live, we must love. Nothing lasts. Accepting that is part of being human. Golden Boy is the sound of a man who has picked himself up off the canvas and is staring the future straight in the eye.
Josh Meadows - Itʼs A Jangle Out There, Main FM
"Just when I thought he couldn't get any better than 2015's Self
Inflicted, No Sympathy, Nick Batterham has done just that with
Golden Boy. It's filled with light and shade and Nick's beautiful
lyrical phrasing. This album proves that he's a truly first-class
songwriter." Crispian W insor - 3PBS fm
"The former Earthmen guitarist is one of the country's most acute
observers of matters of the heart. Solo album No 5, Golden Boy,
is as powerful as it is intimate." Noel Mengel
released March 14, 2018
All songs written and recorded by Nick Batterham, except No Excuses written by Nick Milwright and Nick Batterham.
Guest performers:- Nick Murray, Ralf Rehak, Craig Mitchell, Erica Menting, Jethro Woodward, Andrew Batterham, Gareth Skinner, Nick Milwright.