Artist Of The Week // MEDIUM BUILD
With a charming and lush sound, Medium Build is here to soothe all of your emotional needs and join you in your feelings with Good At Being Lonely.
Alaskan musician Nick Carpenter, aka Medium Build, wasn’t the only person to have been taken by surprise by the COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly finding himself without work, heartbroken, and immobilised in a small town, there’s a huge potential for things to start going awry. Instead, he took it as a moment of inspiration, pulled himself together, and penned his irresistibly hooking new single Good At Being Lonely.
Filled with swaying guitars, mellow electronics and luscious brass harmonies, Nick creates a comforting blanket of sound that gently coaxes you into a warm embrace. Anchored by a hypnotic bass and laid-back drums, there’s an easiness and comforting constance to the track that will make you turn to it whenever you’re in need of some support. Sharing more on what sparked the track, Nick explains:
I was going through a pretty gnarly break up and had a few months of tour planned that I was counting on to clear my head. Just a full lap of the country playing solo shows starting in Alaska and ending on the east coast. Then COVID-19 happened and all my future distractions disappeared. I found myself stuck in a small town, in a small apartment, with my brother and (small) 5 year old nephew. With no work and a freshly broken heart, I leaned into routine to help me get back on my feet. I made oatmeal in the mornings before long runs. I did push ups and cut my own hair. I made huge bowls of ramen at night to eat while I binged anime. This song is literally the sounds of me getting healthy. Drinking less and stretching more. Getting good at being lonely.
Inspired by his resilience in pulling himself back to his feet, we chatted to him more about how he overcame the challenges of lockdown, any advice he has for getting over a broken heart, and what his quarantine character would be.
What’s a motto you live by?
This one is hard for me. I want to be funny and say “LIVE LAUGH LOVE” or be dismissive and say “YOLO” but the real values I hold are probably less worthy of tattoos. Let me try one on for y’all – “we’re all gonna die, so have fun.”
If your sound had a colour, what colour would it be?
Purple. Hot and cold. Red and blue. I have big manic swings sometimes and I think the music reflects that or has over time. This new song might be more of a night time starry sunset type colour though.
If you could set Good At Being Lonely to a TV show or movie, what would it be the soundtrack for?
So you know in a horror movie they have the scene before things go south. Let’s set the scene with 4 teenagers driving in a Jeep to a party in the woods. They’re listening to Good At Being Lonely. One has a joint and is sitting next to another who is anxious because her mom told her to never hang around drugs. The driver of the Jeep is a cocky bro who looks down at phone to text his friend to bring more beer. He looks up and there’s a spooky fawn that causes them to swerve out of the way and then the horror chaos ensues. Maybe one of them will survive the night, and be Good At Being Lonely.
What has been the most unexpected/challenging part of lockdown, whether pleasant or unpleasant?
With COVID guidelines in place, I wasn’t able to see my barber. At first I thought it would be cheeky to grow my hair a little – now I actually just have long hair. Longest I’ve had in years. Not sure what to do with it. How often to condition or shampoo? Are hats necessary to cover up bad days? This is a lot of change and I’m not sure my mom recognizes me anymore.
Do you have any behind-the-scenes stories of writing and producing Good At Being Lonely that you can share with us?
It’s May and the rain has come and you’re sitting at home for the 900th day of lockdown and you start to resent your kettle and your fridge. The foot traffic out your window is your entertainment. Then your buddy sends you some jazzy chord progression and you write about sitting at home.
If you had a quarantine character, what was it like?
My character was a 48-year-old middle school gym teacher trying to get kids to stretch over Zoom. After a moderately paced jog he hangs his new balances up and makes a bowl of ramen. He sits in the living room and watches 90s anime and does push ups during the credits.
What advice would you give to someone struggling with a broken heart right now?
The pain will not last forever. Literally nothing lasts forever except maybe plastic. Lean on your hobbies and get outside if you can. Love is like double swinging saloon doors. You’ll have your shot again.
And finally, slightly cliché, but what does music mean to you?
Music is the closest thing we have to witchcraft. I would be miserable without it.