KESMAR is a new chapter for Sydney musician Nathan Hawes. Having first picked up a guitar in 2006, Hawes spent over a decade serenading audiences with his folk tunes with great success.
Considering his musical background, Hawes' latest evolution into KESMAR comes as an eyebrow raising surprise. He's traded his acoustic guitar for swirling synths,introducing a more disco-oriented chapter of his career. The KESMAR project began when he participated in some writing sessions in 2016, where he "basically fell in love with learning production and vintage synthesisers."
From there, KESMAR began co-writing with indie and electronic mainstays like Lanks, Panama, Tim Ayre (Tim & Jean) and George Nicholas (Seekae) to hone his craft, while also living off a healthysoundtrack of like-minded European artists like Metronomy, Roosevelt and L'imperatrice.
Fellow single 'Feel It Again' also explores the darker side of romance, inspired by KESMAR's recent breakup at the time. "After a relationship ends, I think a lot of us question ourselves in heartbreak, asking: Will I feel it again? .The track was written alongside Lanks in his living room in Sydney, and co-produced with Tobias Priddle in Melbourne, with obscurelive percussion samples accompanied by live drums and live bass to give the project an organic flavour.
And while KESMAR lies worlds apart from the folk leanings of his previous incarnations, old fans will be pleased to know that he's retained the captivating vocals and earnest songwriting that's fueled his career. While much of the EP is enveloped by lyrics about self-doubt in this time of great change for KESMAR, it's the topic of love that always creeps back into his songwriting. That's evident from the project's title track and single 'Up To You' recorded in Melbourne and co-written with Tim Ayre and TIJ. "The lyrical theme came from a relationship I was in at the time, feeling uncertain seeing it roll towards a downward spiral but feeling helpless and letting her decide where it goes - as the hook goes, 'It's all Up To You'," he says. The silky number plays between down-tempo verses and irresistible sing-a-long refrains, with touches of cow bell littered throughout.