Review: Nathaniel Noton-Freeman “Cloud Machines”

Review: Nathaniel Noton-Freeman “Cloud Machines”

I love music that’s really noisy. There are two reasons for this. First: I’m a pretty sensitive person so I like music where the emotion is right up front. ‘Cause I’m deep yo. Second: I’m simple, so loud and noisy stuff where the emotional is almost painfully obvious is much easier for me to digest. If I ever feel like pretending I’m sophisticated and into more considered and introspective emoting then I tend to listen to artists like Nathaniel Noton-Freeman.

Nathaniel Noton-Freeman "Cloud Machine" // Self-release 2014
Nathaniel Noton-Freeman “Cloud Machine” // Self-release 2014

Freeman creates entirely instrumental guiar based music. His first album featured multi-tracked acoustic instruments while his second was more direct and to the point. This time around, with Kickstarter backed third album “Cloud Machine” he’s adopted an approach that incorporates a lot more ambient ideas than before.

It’s an interesting change. Possibly not one worth pursuing long term, as nothing here is as immediate as his first two records. That being said, it’s an album that’s incredibly easy to lose yourself in. It’s only when moments like the dream like lead guitar on “Them Hollow Bones” pop up then you remember you’re listening to a song and not a single exhaustive composition.

It takes a few dedicated listens to really get the most out of “Cloud Machine” but its worth taking the time to do that. You’ll not find yourself throwing tracks from this record on at parties (unless maybe you’re at the parties with the naughty cigarettes) or adding it to your getting ready to party playlist. But you might find the perfect accompaniment to a Sunday morning or a long travel. This album plays much more like a soundtrack than a record. A soundtrack to a gentle sense of melancholy. If you’re an overtly sensitive simpleton like me, you should lap this up.

This record sounds a bit like watching a lovely sunset when you’re a little bad sad about nothing in particular. While nobody wants to do that all the time, sometimes it’s exactly what you need.


“Cloud Machine” is available to buy from Noton-Freeman’s Bandcamp page in both physical and digital versions as well as streaming on Spotify.

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