Earlier this year Nick Ward unravelled a raw vulnerability to listeners through the intimately penned ‘Aubrey Plaza’. Opening up about his sexuality, the Sydney based singer-songwriter embraced his own femininity and was unashamedly authentic to who he is as an artist and as a human throughout the 3:41 minute duration.
Backing it up with a song that further explores that vulnerability, he excitingly claims his spot as one of Australia’s most promising storytellers. ‘I Wanna Be Myself Or Nothing At All’ is a reassuring indie-pop song that is lightly produced and sonically soothing, and is then contrasted with its lyrically heavy and reflective content. It’s a song for anyone who identifies as queer and has/had struggled with their sexuality during high school. Feeling like their emotions were repressed by having to fit into a mould, he addresses the freedom he longed to feel.
“People try to tell you that you don’t know what you want. I just wanna be myself, or I wanna be nothing at all” he candidly confesses before further unravelling, “Remember in the days when I wished I was straight, and I wished I was like the people that I hate, and kept my thoughts a secret. I almost thought I’d keep it”.
This is a song that I wish I could’ve heard during high school because I felt so alone with my feelings. I constantly felt like people were trying to push me out of the closest to try ridicule me for who I was, and all I could do was further climb back in and not let go of the door. What this song would’ve done for me back then is validate my feelings and remind me that I just wanna be myself and not anyone else, ever.
Teaming up with Wellington based singer-songwriter Lontalius, the soothing and simplistic production creates a atmospheric lightness reminiscent of Cub Sport, Sufjan Stevens and Bon Iver. It’s a powerful song that will genuinely leave you on the verge of tears with goosebumps all over your body. It’s a song for every queer kid to cry to, and find solace within, and that’s such a special and important thing.