The last time we checked in with Nathan Honoré, the Milwaukee singer-songwriter—who performs under the Next Paperback Hero namesake—was fresh off the release of a music video for a single from his late 2019 EP and he was graciously lending his talent to our Virtual Summer Festival livestream. In the year-plus since that last encounter, Honoré has thrown himself into writing, performing, and recording new material for his most ambitious effort yet.

Next Paperback Hero will release Morning Skies & Heavy Eyes on Friday, September 3. The project’s debut full-length features meticulously crafted material, which finds the multi-instrumentalist providing vocals and playing guitars, piano, synth, percussion, ukulele, and mandolin on nine songs spanning a total of about 35 minutes. The album was recorded by Honoré between months of March and December of last year. In addition to playing almost everything on the self-recorded album, Honoré also opens up a great deal lyrically and offers a personal look into his emotional state during a particularly difficult point in human history.

The honesty is especially evident in “Weather The Storm,” the forthcoming record’s new single. Honoré tells Milwaukee Record the song started to take shape around the time of the 2016 Presidential Election.

“I tried to channel my frustrations with how the election was showing the spotlight on the worst parts of our country—enabling hateful, racist, sexist actions everywhere,” Honoré says. “Amidst all the chaos and ugliness, this song is a promise that if we work together we can make it to the other side. Who knows when, but we can get there.”

The haunting-yet-hopeful hymn also includes accompaniment from saxophonist Nick Zoulek. While this standout single and the rest of Morning Skies & Heavy Eyes was recorded by Honoré, the album was mixed by Ian Olvera and mastered by Justin Perkins at Mystery Room Mastering. Before Next Paperback Hero’s full-length is released in its entirety on September 3, you can enjoy the revealing, resilient, and remarkable “Weather The Storm” below.

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Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.