Capturing Paul Simon’s ‘70s aesthetic and the pop sensibility of Gnarls BarkleyLocal Nomad’s sound is marked by soulful vocals, ethereal synths, and lustrous drum beats. Teasing his upcoming self-titled EP with the recent single “Young Vampires,” Local Nomad is showcasing his nostalgic side with songs that are “drawn straight from [his] DNA.” We sat down with the budding artist to learn more about his new EP, how he has been affected by COVID-19, and what fans can look forward to next.

Where did you derive the name ‘Local Nomad’ from?

Local Nomad: “The idea for this new project was born out of a turbulent time in my life. I had gotten out of a six-year relationship, my artist name was stolen by someone I knew, my uncle passed away in a tragic accident, and I was gigging 5-6 nights a week while simultaneously working a day job to pay for my college degree. I lost my balance, felt the weight of the world and I couldn’t find the comforts that come with a sense of home. I was at a crossroads and I don’t want to say I was having a midlife crisis, but I felt the need to get a lot of things off my chest.

In this headspace, I built a time capsule fueled by nostalgia and the beginning of something new and profound. That’s where the entire philosophy behind the name ‘Local Nomad’ was born. For me ‘Local Nomad’ is the resistance of sedentary life. It’s about seeking the strange and embracing the unknown. Wondering and wandering. Young and old. Everywhere and nowhere. As cliche as it may sound – when I pick up a guitar and sing it’s the only time I feel at home.”

You recently released the single “Young Vampires”…. What was the inspiration behind the song?

“‘Young Vampires’ is about becoming the worst part of yourself in a toxic relationship. Vampires feed off of humans to survive and ultimately live a pretty reclusive lifestyle, only going out at night and sleeping all day. I think it’s comparable to being in an unhealthy relationship. Sometimes you get really comfortable and complicit and forget about the important things in your own life. Love can be like a drug sometimes if you’re not careful with it. It’s addicting. I don’t think enough people talk about addiction to people. It’s definitely a real thing.”

What’s your favorite lyrical line in the single? Why?

“‘That’s when you went away
The blood dripped from your fangs
Of another lover whose scent
Made you take another taste”

I was originally inspired by the Prince song ‘I would die 4 you.’ The lyrics and melody of that song are simple and driving. I love this lyric because of its visual quality. I also love the way the rhythm pushes the downbeat.

‘Of another lover whose scent
made you take another taste’

The syllables are really smooth and just flow really well.”

Artwork for “Young Vampires” by Local Nomad

This single is a tease to your upcoming self-titled EP…. How does this single represent what fans can expect to hear?

“The self-titled LOCAL NOMAD EP comes out on July 10th. I’m just an emo kid that grew up. You should expect to hear more nostalgic heartfelt anthemic tracks.”

How does “Young Vampires” represent your sound and musical identity as a whole?

“Local Nomad represents the constant searching for oneself. Abandoning a sedentary life. ‘Young Vampires’ is one dimension of the sound I am cultivating. It is a lyrically intense song about unhealthy relationships. It represents a more intimate and vulnerable side of myself and that’s my goal as a writer – to be as honest as possible. Sometimes that calls for sad songs. Sometimes that calls for satire. I am constantly listening to new music and evolving my sound. I really look up to artists like Beck and Gotye, who are able to evolve while still sustaining an original sound that is true to them.”

What is your favorite song from the upcoming EP? Why?

“My favorite song on the LOCAL NOMAD EP is ‘Summertime.’ I think I finally captured my dry sense of humor, while still evoking a classic nostalgic emotional quality. The song is essentially a time capsule. It represents what summer was like for me as a kid. It’s retrospective and overall hilarious. My favorite part of the song is when I call this kid Kevin a dick because, let’s face it, everyone has their own ‘Kevin.’”

Does the EP have an underlying theme or message?

“The theme of this EP is drawn straight from my DNA. There is a longing nostalgia that weaves its way through the LOCAL NOMAD EP. Memories of lost love, Little League Baseball when the living was easy, self-discovery/self-realization, helping a friend through addiction, and learning to let go. I went into overdrive after that rough patch in my life and made a goal to write as many songs as I possibly could. My songwriting style started to become more narrative and reflective. This was the first time I fully immersed myself in the recording process where I literally played every instrument (except drums) and sang.”

How has the COVID pandemic affected you as a musician?

“I’ve been hyper-focused on trying to find the ‘perfect’ time to release music so I can give myself a fair shot as a grassroots indie artist. That ‘perfect’ plan, unfortunately, ran straight into COVID19. When the pandemic storm came through it really put everything in perspective and reminded me of the uncontrollable forces that reshape the path and really force you to make decisions in the present moment. So that’s what the pandemic did for me as a human being and an artist – it brought me into the present to focus on my family and what’s important to me. Music has always been therapy for me so providing that type of escape for others is where my head’s at.”

Other than the EP, what can fans expect next?

“The music isn’t going to stop. All of my touring plans are wiped out, but beyond the LOCAL NOMAD EP awaits a steady stream of new releases that are all a part of this new identity I’ve formed through real-life experiences. Listen deeply and you might trace the dots to an experience from your own life. If that’s not your style then stay on the surface and you might catch yourself humming a melody as you go about your day. The music is mine up until it gets released – then it’s yours. Hum away.”

Dawn Jones is the curator of the V13 imPRESSED Column. Previously known as imPRESSED Indie Music Blog, Jones and her team joined forces with V13 in 2020 to collaborate on an exclusive column on V13's site (imPRESSED) to bring a niche focus to the rapidly evolving indie music genre. Dawn is also the founder of Pressed PR - a boutique PR agency that focuses on PR for independent creatives. Pressed PR’s team works on a variety of campaigns partnering with independent filmmakers, independent artists, and independent labels. Pressed PR’s music clientele has landed in the pages of Billboard, Atwood Magazine, EARMILK, HYPE Magazine, and many others.