Nathan West is a seasoned member of the entertainment business. From gracing the silver screen (Jan from Bring It On anyone?) to working behind the scenes, he has shown his strengths as both an actor and producer for the past 10 years. Now, West is looking to take on music and further show his skills from the likes of the recording studio, under the stage name East of Eli.
According to the East of Eli Facebook page, West draws musical inspiration from Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, and Otis Redding. These influences can be heard in his new 5-song debut EP, Nothing Ordinary, which in itself is a precursor of sorts for West’s upcoming film production titled Into the Mystic (an independent project with actress wife Chyler Leigh).
The EP starts with the eponymous song “Nothing Ordinary” with a sound that reminds me a bit of Jason Mraz and Howie Day mixed together in the best way possible. The hint of techno bits heard in this song are what makes it a great tune to listen to; it is an incredibly enjoyable song.
The subsequent songs on Nothing Ordinary provide a great combination of guitar, simple drums, ambient sounds, and West’s surprising vocals – surprising in the fact that I keep picturing West as his Bring It On character and can’t believe it’s the same person; his voice is fantastic. Who woulda thunk he had it in him? Even the cover art showing West with a goatee and longer hair goes to show that Nathan West is no longer the person we remember from numerous films from the 2000s, and that he has transformed to a full-fledged musician. I, for one, am not complaining.
East of Eli’s debut album may be short in length, but it is nothing short of spectacular. The majority of the album may take on a feeling of melancholia, but the range of West’s vocals and the variety (although subtle) between songs allows listeners to really feel the energy from song to song.
Keep an eye out on East of Eli’s Facebook for your opportunity to purchase a CD or buy concert tickets.
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