Nathan Stiteler (and friends)
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Nathan Stiteler (and friends)

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Folk Rock




"Kind Ira: Together, We Are Not Alone"

Release: February 14, 2014
Genre: Rock/Alternative/Indie
Label: Independent
Reviewer: Jim Wilkerson
Rating: 5/5

Kind Ira is a conglomeration of two different bands, Nathan Stiteler & Friends from Nashville, Tennessee, and Bare Branches from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Knowing Stiteler’s background and style, which is actually not easy to explain, I was unsure how this would turn out. (Nathan once said that his music is like a Paul Simon Rock Opera)

Nathan’s band and Bare Branches had met at the Cornerstone Festival back in 2009 and began a relationship touring together. Then the idea came up to collaborate on a project, and so starts their journey as Kind Ira.

When I asked Nathan about this project he said that it was “something all quite different for me.” Usually when an artist tries something totally new, it usually either breaks new ground or it falls flat on its face. It just so turns out that this project was a great gamble, because I believe they have really churned out some very great art with their debut album, “Together, We Are Not Alone.”

The opening track, “From Then ‘til Now,” has only one phrase that keeps repeating, but the music really builds up in an interesting way. Every time the phrase is repeated, a new instrument or voice is added. This build up really intrigued me and made me wonder what’s coming next on the album. Very interesting way to start an album. With this song you get introduced to lead singer, Christopher Wagner.

Throughout the album you will hear several different voices, but the two main singers are Nathan Stiteler and Christopher Wagner. I’ll have to admit, Wagner’s voice is a bit odd to me. There are times when it seems to not fit the music and then at other times his voice just makes me pay that more attention to the song. I’m not sure what it is, but his voice has definitely gotten me curious, and I think that’s a good thing.

The second track, “I Know, You Know” is one that grabbed me from the very first time I heard it. A mix of rock & blues, and maybe a bit of electronic juiciness really turns this song into a treat to listen to. Nathan said that this song deals with the struggles our nation, our world, and humanity seems to be in, much like many of the psalms of David. He said that they made it a point to make this song a "call to action" – to say that there are many things such as genocide, natural disasters and evil in this world, but what can we do about it? Is there something we can
do? I love the 2nd half of the song the most:
I’ve seen all kinds of artists try to explain the east
If the genocide, the famine won’t bring us to our feet
It’s impossible, impossible to hold a violent breeze
Impossible, impossible to get down on my knees
I know, you know. I know, you know.
Track three, “Come to Me,” is just a delight. This song has such an 80’s vibe and it is really fun to listen and sing along to. There are parts where it feels like I’m inside a Nintendo game getting ready to take off in a spaceship and fight the evil powers of some distant fleet of aliens. And I guess I’m not too far off because the lyrics talk about being “high above the rings of Saturn, swimming stars and novas…” Just a fun song, and I’m guessing they thought so too because at the end of the track you get to hear some of them laughing and releasing some energy in the studio. This is one of the songs where Christopher Wagner’s voice fits the song perfectly.

Track five, “Somewhere (I Bet You’re There)” has a groovy, addicting beat. I love the electric guitar parts in this. This song is about a mixture of things – about learning to love one another, but also about going through those times when you feel that God is far away. If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, you probably have come across this feeling at some point on your journey, and you will no doubt relate to this song.

Track six is one of those “hidden gems” that I often look for in a new album. Something a bit different. Something that stands out from the other songs. This is it. A tip to the story “Where the Wild Things Are,” Christa Wagner leads on this song, along with Ash White on background vocals. Their voices are beautiful and simply a delight to listen to.
To love as we are loved, and worship all that is untamed
Without a care for time, or night or day,
We’d throw our watches away, and live forever.
Live forever, with the King.
If I were Max, and you were all the wild things.
Track seven, “I’ve Seen All the Lights,” is a song about one of Nathan’s friends who passed away due to Leukemia. Nathan said that he was one of the few people he knew that would really listen and respond in honesty. After he was diagnosed, he lived out the rest of his life just showing love to people. Nathan said, “it was an extremely inspiring spectacle that makes me want to rid myself of my conflicts with other people and just love them instead.”

The bridge is soft and gentle:
And now that you move with the breeze, do you think of me?
I think the sea will reflect back your name with each moonlit face.
Then the music drops and it’s just voices and light piano. Such a sweet moment and you can just sense the emotion in this song. One thing you hear in this song and all the others, is a very focused attention to the details of the vocals.

Several of the songs on this album deal with death or the loss of a loved one. Track ten is titled, “Twelve.”
It’s just no good, nothing I say or do would bring her back to me
Forgot my hopes, forgot my prayers too – they won’t bring her back to me
Bring her back to me.
This is not a song you would hear on Christian radio because of that element of "death." But these are things that all Christians deal with, so is it not any more important to write about than the typical cookie-cutter topics of today's CCM industry? I applaud them for focusing on the message and letting the "marketability" of the song be judged later.

This album deals with death and loss, but it also talks about love. That is kind of fitting since it is being released on Valentine’s Day. This album has so many sounds, rhythms, styles and instruments mixed in that it would be hard for anyone not to find a sound that trips their trigger. I happen to like every one of them, but there’s a few that really stand out to me. If I were to pick one that I just love to listen to it would be “Come to Me.” But if I am going the route of artistry and emotion, then “I’ve Seen All the Lights” would be my favorite. But my opinion may change over time - I can see this album doing that to me, several times.

Nathan said, “when it comes to writing music as a Christian, it is often times difficult to find something that has not been said before in a way that has not been done before.”
I would have to agree. That’s why we hear so many songs on Christian radio that sound the same. However, I would have to say that Kind Ira has really excelled at bringing something new to the table with this album, and that really excites me.

Favorite Song: I’ve Seen All the Lights

Track List:
From Then 'til Now
I Know, You Know
Come to Me
The Shallows
Somewhere (I Bet You're There)
Wild Things
I've Seen All the Lights
Lions (We Are)
Let Go
The Far Shore - Christian Music Review Blog - Jim Wilkerson

"Night Beds, Holmes & Presley, Cory Bishop, Nathan Stiteler, The End, Tonight in Nashville"

Nathan Stiteler brings a bit more of an experimental vibe to his music. It’s a folk based singer/songwriter type experience, but there is an additonal kick that I wasn’t really expecting. You can check out his catalog on Bandcamp here. - No Country for New Nashville


Still working on that hot first release.



Nathan Stiteler and Friends is a 6 piece folk-rock group based out of Nashville, TN led by multi-instrumentalist Nathan Stiteler. The group is made up of five more multi-instrumentalists, and their genre ranges from the folk music base to rock n roll, blues, and jazz similar to bands such as Wilco, Elliot Smith, and Bright Eyes and a quality reminiscent of 60s and 70s music. 

With their first release Desper Hollow Drive in 2008, Nathan Stiteler and friends made their new home base in Nashville, TN. The band started touring across the states playing clubs, coffee shops, houses, and anywhere that would allow them to plug in. 

Their 2010 double concept album Deathbed. Flowerbed. started a new vision for the band. The musical arrangements grow into more of a wall of sound and the live band grew to 6-7 multi-instrumentalists with instruments ranging from guitars, mandolins, and banjos to mellotrons, synthesizers, and horns. 

On February 14th, 2014, Nathan Stiteler and friends collaborated with Pittsburgh indie rock band, Bare Branches, and release a full length LP under the pseudonym "Kind Ira". 

How to describe their music? Well, eclectic might be a word for it....although they frequently lean towards the folk side of things, it's hard to really put them in a genre "box." Nathan's music and lyrics are really pure 'Art.'
Rock The Lawn (Jim Wilkerson)

"Nathan Stiteler brings a bit more of an experimental vibe to his music. Its a folk based singer/songwriter type experience, but there is an additional kick that I wasnt really expecting."
Matt Hall - No Country for New Nashville

Band Members