Psychic Hotline

Nathaniel Russell’s New Album ‘Songs Of’ and Video For “Wonderful To Be In Love”

March 5, 2024

Today, Indiana-based multi-disciplinary artist Nathaniel Russell is sharing details for Songs Of, due May 24 via Psychic Hotline, the recording company founded by Amelia Meath & Nick Sanborn of Sylvan Esso. Produced by Meath, it’s an album Russell envisioned being sold at his funeral’s merch table, but you can pre-order now on LP (each jacket is hand-numbered and stamped by Russell), cassette, and digital via Psychic Hotline’s store or your favorite independent record shop. 

With Songs Of’s announcement arrives a lyric video for the album’s playful opening track “Wonderful To Be In Love,” illustrated and animated by Russell.

Watch & share the lyric video for “Wonderful To Be In Love” by Nathaniel Russell

Russell elaborates on the catalyst of his new record:

This record began with a funny and sad idea I had about a funeral. I imagined a picture of a funeral with a merch table. Mourners could buy a souvenir t-shirt or a poster. They could purchase a book of the deceased’s writing and artwork and a record of their songs and music. I thought about a bored teenager running the merch table, tired of being on tour and trying to keep up. It was an idea full of darkness and sweetness to me. Immediately I thought about what my merchandise would look like, what it would be. I began to think about what the record for sale at my funeral would sound like. I started to think about the songs I have made up and sung to and with my friends, family, and myself over the years. I noticed how the songs I had sung the longest seemed connected to others from a different time. I had changed some words and how I played them but they were all of me and my time on earth. I heard how these things fit together. Of course I now needed to see this project become a reality.

Songs Of includes previously released single “Bloodsucker.” The collection of songs was recorded at Betty’s, the wooded studio haven of Sylvan Esso, where recent releases from Caroline Rose, Wednesday, The Mountain Goats, Flock of Dimes, Indigo de Souza, and many more have been born. It was produced by Meath and engineered by Alli Rogers, and features additional vocals from both, percussion from Joe Westerlund (Megafaun, Califone), saxophone and clarinet by Matt Douglas (the Mountain Goats), with bass guitar and drum programming by Nick Sanborn (Sylvan Esso, Made of Oak).

Russell makes drawings, paintings, prints, murals, objects, music and videos that are exhibited  internationally in galleries, DIY spaces, and living rooms, often with friends and fellow artists. Over the past however-many years his work has appeared on album covers by Vetiver, Neil Halstead, Mountain Man, and Tommy Guerrero among others. Drawings have been seen in The New York Times, Apartamento, The Baffler and many other publications and books. A lifelong skateboarder, his graphics are on countless decks, accessories and clothing. All this to say that Russell makes a lot of different kinds of work that may be familiar to you already and continues to make more every day. 

Nathaniel Russell will make an appearance at New Hampshire’s Thing in the Spring just before Songs Of’s release day, with more shows on the horizon. Follow Russell (Website | Instagram) and Psychic Hotline (Website | Instagram) to stay updated on what lies ahead.

A mockup of the olive green LP version of Nathaniel Russell's Songs Of album.