Ottoman Turks frontman and songwriter Nathan Mongol Wells will release his debut solo album, From A Dark Corner, on August 18 via State Fair Records.
The collection of 10 songs is a proof of concept for Wells’ abilities as a singular creative force and the pronouncement of an exciting, idiosyncratic voice out of Dallas, TX.
The first song that Wells wrote for the album is “Beulah Land,” a slinking tale about loss, built around haunting organ and vocals that crawl through the fog before coiling themselves around the listener. “Rather than about a romantic relationship, it’s about a friendship falling apart, which I think in many ways is more devastating,” says Wells, who adopted the moniker “Mongol” out of a high school obsession with the intercontinental auto-race, the Mongol Rally. Listen to “Beulah Land” here .
Recorded, mixed, and produced by John Pedigo and co-produced by Turks’ member and emerging artist Joshua Ray Walker, From A Dark Corner expands Wells’ worldview of outsider Americana into a well-rounded set, incorporating moments of sonic variety and semi-autobiography: self-reflection, homegrown tradition, and fuck-it-all impulsivity. “First Day It’s Warm” is a celebration of winter’s end in Texas, supplied with references of adolescence (“freeze tag, dirty mags, Six Flags, and ice cream”), all crafted around Wells’ tenor vocals and a plucked acoustic guitar. Similarly upbeat, “Juarez” is a country ripper about going to Mexico with nothing to lose (“Gonna fill my hat with whiskey”) and features Turks’ Billy Law on bass.
Wells airs grievances in “Rather Go to Hell,” a modern Southern rock take on Johnny Paycheck’s anti-work anthem “Take This Job and Shove It,” with background vocals from Walker and Pedigo on theremin and mandolin. “In Years” is a swaying walk down memory lane about the naivety and hard work leading to the status quo.
With uncountable live performances under his belt and a little help from his Deep Ellum friends, Nathan Mongol Wells is primed for a busy 2023, including a full tour in support of his debut album. Find all tour dates here or below.
5/26 – Dallas, TX – Pittman Hotel
5/31 – Lubbock, TX – Blue Light Live
6/3 – McGill, NV – Schellraiser Festival [Ottoman Turks show]
6/16 – Dallas, TX – Longhorn Ballroom
6/18 – Dallas, TX – Café Momentum
6/24 – Dallas, TX – Songs of Hermann Hall [Ottoman Turks show]
7/15 – Dallas, TX – Ruins [Ottoman Turks show]
7/20 – Dallas, TX – Sundown at Granada
7/22 – Turkey, TX – Hotel Turkey