Nathan Storey is a man in a way that most men aren’t. To meet him, you would immediately be drawn to his innocent, youthful nature, but the undercurrent of that is a man secure in who he is, and self-aware enough to know that you never really stop growing into the person you are becoming.
Storey weaves intimate tunes, filled with emotion and powerful metaphor. His barebones approach to performing thrives on his ability to connect with the spirit of his music, and with the audiences who come to see him. Nathan is currently on tour, and will make his first ever trip to Charleston to perform at The Sparrow in Park Circle this Tuesday.
“I had visited [Charleston] before so I knew it was a place I wanted to make a stop on a future tour. There's an incredible vibe surrounding it. Lots of old things and lots of new things. Lots of old things made new.“
Renewal, faith, hope and fortitude are all themes that appear in Nathan’s songwriting. After growing up and going to school in Wilmington, North Carolina, he moved to Raleigh in 2011 to take a position as a worship leader at a local church plant. A guitar player since age nine, Storey quickly latched onto his craft of songwriting to comfort him in his first move away from home and the unfamiliar.
“It wasn't necessarily this super turbulent time but it seemed so then, so I wrote from a really raw and vulnerable place. All the tunes had this ‘ok this is the path I'm taking so get on board’ feel, talking to myself and everyone around me.”
The closing tack of his debut record The Falcon and the Fox, "The Fear", was one of his most personal.
“It really is the anthem for that season of my life. It talks about being driven towards making this big change, which relocating is, and then not falling into doubt. Fear can be crippling but it can also be a powerful motivator. I'm thankful that for me it was the latter.“
Now residing in Charlotte, Nathan’s next full-length record is schedule for a fall 2014 release, and Storey says listeners can expect a new perspective.
“Now I'm in a place that's a lot more comfortable, honestly. I believe there's always more to do and seasons change so it's going to be purposed to challenge myself and others to never stop growing or searching. The Falcon and the Fox was very inwardly focused and there a lot more tunes on this new record that address others.”
Storey found inspiration as a songwriter from his growing up in church, and his continued presence in that community is one where he is happy, but also longs for a more artful than what contemporary Christian music seems to adhere to.
“There are so many gorgeous old sacred songs that helped me discover the beauty of language. Most churches today have very bland music and it saddens me especially seeing how in past times like the Renaissance the church was actually commissioning these gorgeous and now classic works of art. Now most Christian music is a bunch of motivational phrases slapped onto four chords. The church has been really formative for me and I hope to give back by doing honest creative work with that worldview.“
When Nathan Storey takes the stage at The Sparrow, expect for him to let you in, and don’t be surprised if you end up letting something out.
Check out some of Nathan's music here.
Nathan Storey / Matthew Patrick Smith
Tuesday, July 15. 8pm. Free.
1078 E Montague Ave., North Charleston