Every time I find that one song with the right melody, the catchy lyrics, it just feels out of this world.
Nathan Zachary (UsThree)
Underrated and underestimated are words to describe the Mornington Peninsula’s music scene. The capacity of the musicians based in that area are often overlooked, bustling with talent yet to be discovered. UsThree encapsulates this perfectly and is the epitome of potential. The 22-year-old solo act blends late '80s new wave with alternative pop genres, creating a fresh sound with sincerity in song writing. In his time of isolation, under this current climate, Zachary has curated his first project out into the world, the single Save Me From You Heart.
The single stems off a new wave sound, clearly influenced by popular progressive rock genres, contrasting different styles in the same track. Save Me From Your Heart is a punchy rhythm accompanied by uplifting synths creating a mood-boosting anthem. Clearly heavily influenced by alternative pop artists like CHVRCHES, the sound still stands out in its idiosyncrasy, holding a personal flair and touch from Zachary.
Despite the song’s many elements, it is still a meticulously crafted and polished piece of music. You would definitely want to find this song embedded in a Breakfast Club remake soundtrack. Almost all instrumentals are recorded by Nathan, showcasing his capacity as an artist in terms of song writing and production.
Exceeding lyrical expectations, the track spends time touching on ideas of self-reflection, making the listening experience more rewarding.
I had a look in the mirror I’ve never seen my soul so crystal clear Now I need you near
With excellent guitar riffs and accompanying pounding percussion, the track stands out both lyrically and musically. Both hooks and choruses are memorable and melodic, giving the single a form of catchiness, a difficult standard to meet for many musicians. UsThree banged the nail on the head with this one. For a debut project, UsThree has gone above and beyond, bound to impress listeners, regardless of personal music taste or preferences.
Ambitious in his endeavours and future for music, it has left a personal sense of hope for more projects to come in the near future. Save Me From Your Heart will be available to download/stream from Apple Music and Spotify on May 3rd.
Here at T-Rex, we were lucky enough to sit down and have a chat over the phone to UsThree about his new single as well as his life as a musician.
Your single Save Me From Your Heart, is that your first project you’ve released?
As a solo artist, yeah. I’ve done stuff with a high school band I was in. But I’ve decided to go solo, not that I don’t like playing with them, in terms of the writing process it’s a lot easier to do in my own time. Since I don’t need to motivate other people.
A lot of artists who release their own music do start out playing in bands, especially the ones who have some sort of skill with instruments, did you record all the different elements in your single?
Yeah, so I recorded everything. The drums themselves were recorded through MIDI. I just sort of wrote them in and got some help from a mate who’s a jazz drummer to sort of arrange them. But the whole idea, all the different sounds and instruments, that was all done by me.
The track gives off almost ‘80s vibes, especially the drums. Was there a specific time era or artist that inspired this sound.
So, the overall sound is definitely influenced by ‘80s, or late ‘80s era. The artists who influenced the song were along the lines of CHVRCHES for sure, as well as a bit of The 1975 in terms of the guitar parts. Also, artists like Prince as well, all those definitely influenced the sound for sure.
I wanted to ask; what sort of effort went behind this track creatively? And what made you take this specific direction in terms of sound?
Yeah, that’s tough. I think I was listening to something; I can’t remember what it was specifically, but it was this really cool ‘80s progression. So, I did a little bit of research into what makes a chord progression sound like it’s from the ‘80s. Then I sort of came up with a cool idea, picked some sounds to tie in with it. The picture was there, it was in my head, but it was just going through trial and error, seeing what belongs and what doesn’t. It just eventually fell together in the end, which was cool.
Do you normally conduct a bit of research when you are song writing?
I’ve been trying to stretch myself over the last year, trying to learn music from different genres to extend my general knowledge, just so I can sort of diversify my music writing. It just got to a point where everything was stale and just sounded the same, I guess. So yeah, I just started learning more songs and just sort of spending time analysing the new chords, that sort of thing.
The issue for me is that figuratively I always used the same tools for writing, it gets to a point where you can only use the same tools and intervals to make a song until it starts sounding the same. So, I do want to use that same technique but find new tools, so it all doesn’t sound the same.
It sounds like you aren’t settling on a specific direction in terms of sound. Are you looking to branch out to try different sounds in the future?
To an extent, yeah. I love this direction I have taken with this sound. I feel like it keeps me to want to write songs that aren’t sulky, introspective songs that I guess most artists will start writing when they first put music together. And you know, I am also one to have done that as well, but I think I might explore this genre a whole lot more and sort of try and make it on my own in the future.
Obviously being stuck at home, is isolation what sparked your motivation to release music?
Yeah so, I am always writing music. I think all my project and ideas just stay ideas; they never really eventuate into anything more than that. But, with this time around is like the first time to heavily prioritise an idea and just challenge myself into getting it done. But yeah, without having to travel to university and being out of work I definitely had some more time on my hands. It’s a way to keep busy.
I saw one of your photos you had a gig at God’s Kitchen. I wanted to ask about the Mornington Peninsula and its music industry, it seems like a strong sense of artist community down there?
Yeah, I recently had some time last year, started to play a lot of local gigs at places like God’s Kitchen, especially because of the culture there for sure. I kind of figured out the hard way that just playing random gigs without people you can make connections with, aren’t maybe as useful. I think the attraction of being able to meet people who are in the same boat as you, it’s pretty awesome. I still would say I don’t really have the connection that I would like quite yet but I am sure that I will be able to solidly that once everything goes back to normal.
Has playing gigs or being a musician been a big passion of yours or has it only just recently become something that you want to pursue?
I think it was a lot of turning points in my life. I have been singing for as long as I can remember, I learnt guitar back in middle school when I was living overseas. The first time I was writing a song I think dad was helping me out with it and I just remember it being super frustrating, I didn’t look back at it for ages. There was a weird phase where people knew I could play guitar, but I wasn’t really that good, apart from playing classical music, that’s where I started. I just never put time into learning chords and songs that I listened to. I progressed through an edgy/hardcore band in high school, eventually grew out of that and I really found an untapped source of creativity in my brain and just started writing music over and over again.
It’s an addiction. Trying to put together chords that give you those endorphins and get you really excited. Every time I find that one song with the right melody, the catchy lyrics, it just feels out of this world. I just worry about seeking that out honestly. That is how it became a passion for me.
Since this is your debut project, did you want to give an insight behind what the song means to you on a personal level and what it means lyrically?
Yeah, so before Corona was even an issue, I was in Japan with some friends. It was a getaway trip to celebrate finishing my science degree. It was a good time, so much fun. Amongst the craziness of a language I could barely understand and doing stuff every day, I actually found myself looking inwards a bit and just having a think about where my motives are at. Really deep thoughts throughout the whole trip. It’s hard to describe but I thought that I really can do anything and that some things have higher priority than others, it was cool to think about that in a different frame then back home.
I just have this escapist mentality. And like my fiancé especially, I always am there for her and there for her to vent her feelings out, but I think for me, I was in this mindset where I was getting away from it all and normal daily life. It is a really attractive way for me to think through stuff and get away from the normal day-to-day grind.
Bit of a lighter question, let’s say you do become successful, who would be that dream Australian artist to collaborate with?
Oh man, that is rough…it would probably have to be Gang Of Youths. 100%.
Is there anything else you want to tell people about your music or a message you want to give to the readers?
I guess with the song, the main thing I want people to take away is to have a good time, and not be afraid to break away from the day-to-day grind.
You can catch UsThree and his new track on streaming services on May 3. To pre-save Save Me From Your Heart click here!