Medium Build – Cuz of U [Music Video]

Medium Build shares the gorgeous, gravelly new single “Cuz of U” out via slowplay/Island Records. When you listen to Medium Build, the queer singer-songwriter born Nick Carpenter, you can feel the places he’s known and the people he’s loved— from his home town outside of Atlanta, Georgia, to the bright lights of Nashville, to the frosty Alaskan frontier where he currently resides. “Cuz of U,” is a love song to Alaska, about the growth he achieved and the artist he became because of it. In addition to the single, “Cuz of U” is released alongside a sweet visualizer of his fans and shows in Alaska (cue the tears).

Medium Build penned a few words on the song:

cuz of u / alaska love letter
by nick carpenter

“i wrote cuz of u in november 2022 with jon class and abby holliday. we were talking about our hometowns and the family/friends that we were constantly missing. the places and people we leave behind when we’re pursuing our dreams. we talked about the pride that “ place” has in a heart, and the guilt that comes with leaving . we talked about the intersection of fear (am i still me if i leave home? am i still me if i quit music? are my people still my people if we don’t see one another but a few times a year? ), and progress. with inspection, i have come to the conclusion that i am product of much love and shaping. every friend and collaborator. every lover. every hater. this song is a sincere thank you to the people who show up along the way. the knowing you can’t do it alone and the realization that the story is never over.

at the risk of being hyperbolic i will posit that alaska saved me. the birch trees and breweries. all ages art shows and nearly condemned house concerts. the devastating silence of snow. the friendship of a coffee hut barista. the forgiveness of a friend. of a brother. of a partner. this place sharpened a soft and apathetic young man from the suburbs with very little knowledge of “place” or of “home”. alaska schooled me on frozen ponds and stolen land. alaska broke me down, built me anew, and put me on their fucking back. i have yet to experience a pride and love equal to this feeling. alaska i will forever be homesick when i am out singing these songs. this is the end and beginning of eras. thank you for being my adopted home. mb couldn’t have happened without y’all. everything i am today is cuz of u”

This single also serves as a parting wish, knowing Medium Build can’t achieve all that he wants if he stays in Alaska. Earlier this year he opened shows for Briston Maroney, Lewis Capaldi, and FINNEAS, embarked on a solo headlining tour across Alaska, is currently gearing up for more headlining dates across the US, UK and Europe before 2023 ends, and will kick off 2024 providing tour support for Tyler Childers on a few tour stops. “Cuz Of U,” comes as a pivotal point— it marks his accomplishments to date, among them the loyal and cherished fanbase he’s built in Alaska and beyond, and the exceptionally bright future rolling quickly out in front of him.

Before this release, Medium Build and X Ambassadors released “Friends For Life” to praise from Billboard who called it, “ground-shaking,” while songs like “Never Learned to Dance” showcase a pure cosmic Americana side. The Medium Build style is open-ended, playing with acoustic and electronic textures in equal measure. Carpenter can inspire you to get down like a dancefloor messiah, with an effortless funkiness underlined by his sensitive falsetto, but the hushed whisper he sometimes sings in makes you feel like you’re the only one in the room. His voice aches with a trembling vulnerability, and there’s intentionality and emotional resonance in every word he sings. Carpenter’s work eagerly draws outside the clear lines of genre binaries, informed by his own personal exploration of queerness and sexual identity, drawing from classic country, ‘80s new wave, and emo in equal measure.

Growing up in the Bible Belt, the singer-songwriter born Nick Carpenter was steeped in tradition, but he has blazed his own defiant trail, learning and listening to the old ways while doing something boldly new. After relocating to Anchorage, Carpenter became something of an adopted hometown hero, widely recognized and beloved by Alaskans after years of honing his craft on regional tours and local DIY shows. “Cuz Of U” is a passionate tribute to his second hometown, giving back musically to the place that’s come to define his work as he sets out to find what else the world has to offer: “I ain’t leavin’ cuz I don’t love you / Just gotta see it for myself.” You can feel the frigid landscape and endless highways of the Alaskan tundra in his music, but below the surface is a glowing Southern heart that keeps you warm.

The generous and inviting spirit of Nick Carpenter’s personality manifests in his songwriting, which is why he’s developed such a passionate fan base both in Alaska and outside its borders, as he inspires listeners to dig deep and discover themselves alongside his own emotional journey. Medium Build has toured with pop headliners like Lewis Capaldi and Finneas, but beneath it all, there’s an old country soul, who treasures the simple things in life and keeps his family close to his heart. “Never Learned to Dance” is pure cosmic Americana, complete with lush acoustic guitar and twangy steel, but it’s distinctly contemporary too, a modern tale of digital love and missed connections. More than just the sound alone, what Medium Build takes most from country music is a sense of yearning and restlessness, always in search of another experience and another sound in whatever form they may come. In another era, Medium Build might have just as easily been a rhinestone cowboy lonesome out on the range, a blue-eyed crooner on a smooth-sailing yacht, or a leather-clad video star, but in the here and now, he’s no one but himself.

Carpenter’s vision is to take the sense of community his music creates far beyond wherever he calls home. His upcoming tour focuses specifically on the middle of the continental United States, not just cities often overlooked by major touring artists, but places in the most vital need of queer community and spiritual uplift. The response of Medium Build’s devoted following has been overwhelming, with over a dozen dates sold-out across the Midwest and Southeast. Carpenter aims to bring that message of uplift and affirmation not just around the county, but around the world. His 2023 tour will continue in Europe, including a special sold-out solo performance at the revered St. Pancras Old Church in London, one of the oldest historical sites of Christian worship in the world. It’s a fitting setting for an artist with such a spiritual core to his music: not necessarily religious, but still searching for something joyful and sublime. That soulful passion defines the music of Medium Build, as conducive to collective ecstasy as private revelation.

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