Nathan Harrington’s New Release “Over the Mountain”

Musical complexities don’t always come in the form of cosmetics, and if ever this were true of an indie single this fall, it is of Nathan Harrington’s new release “Over the Mountain.” There’s nothing outwardly over the top about this song – it’s a smooth acoustic reggae ballad with a strong pop aesthetic for a lyrical linchpin, but beyond its construction lies a treasure chest of emotion not many artists would grant us access to. Harrington has nothing to hide here, and inside of this track’s first thirty-seconds we find out just how committed he is to putting his heart on the line when it really matters most. 

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There’s a lot of depth to the poetic narrative in these lyrics, but I don’t know that it would be fair to say that they’re half the reason to get into “Over the Mountain” this December. This just wouldn’t be doing the cadence of the beat nor the tone of the lead vocal the credit they each deserve for making this as humanizing a performance as possible. Harrington is somehow sounding like a superstar removed from the mainstream and a peaceful, completely approachable folk poet at the same time, which is not a combination I usually encounter in any content I listen to. 

The vocal harmony in this song is the richest element for us to behold, but at no juncture of the track does it overwhelm any of the other parts in the mix for anything. There’s a steady hand guiding every element of “Over the Mountain” into perfect synchronicity, and whether you’re big into reggae or simply enjoy a soft pop melody when you come across a good one every now and again, this is exactly the type of single that retains its appeal because of the time and love that went into its creation. 

Big flash and sophisticated software adornments? Forget about ‘em – in “Over the Mountain,” I get the feeling that Harrington is going out of his way to keep such nonsense on the sidelines and out of the melting pot of natural melodicism here, and to some extent their absence feels a bit commentarial. The establishment end of the pop spectrum hasn’t sounded quite as sugary and unfeeling in quite a long time, but rather than being angst-ridden in his displeasure over the inside-the-lines illustrations of the major label players, this guy clandestinely protests with what is definitely his best song so far. 

I hadn’t examined Nathan Harrington’s discography as closely as I should have before I got a preview of “Over the Mountain” recently, but I definitely won’t be repeating this mistake twice. Harrington is a rare talent with the gifted ability to make turn powerful feelings into something that any of us can touch on and relate to through the tender sensibilities of his music, and in today’s world, that kind of skill has never been as in-demand. There’s still a lot of room for him to get even better than he is right now, but to me, “Over the Mountain” is proof that this artist is the real deal. 

Michael Rand 

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