That ’70s Song: The Golden, Glistening Glow of KESMAR’s “Is It You I Miss”

KESMAR © Jenaya Okpalanze
KESMAR © Jenaya Okpalanze
A standout off his debut album ‘ALWAYS CHASING RAINBOWS,’ KESMAR’s “Is It You I Miss” finds the Australian indie pop artist basking in the glistening glow of love – and taking us along for the ride.
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Stream: “Is It You I Miss” – KESMAR





Tiny sparks of magic fly through the air as KESMAR’s “Is It You I Miss” gets underway. It’s the sound of sunlight filtering through the clouds; the bliss and beauty of a warm summer’s evening, channeled into song. A standout off his debut album ALWAYS CHASING RAINBOWS, “Is It You I Miss” finds the Australian indie pop artist basking in the glistening glow of love – and taking us along for the ride.

Always Chasing Rainbows - KESMAR
Always Chasing Rainbows – KESMAR
you caught me waiting up tonight
you always keep me guessing right
I’m never gonna change my mind
you are the light in front of my eyes
and every little part of me
you know i wanna be here
is it you i miss
I’m gonna be here when it’s over
how will i take ever losing this
you lift the weight off my shoulders

Biased writer here, but the best kind of love is the one that keeps us on our toes: Where the “honeymoon phase” never fully stops, and you’re still falling deeper in love years into knowing each other.

The fifth track off the recently released ALWAYS CHASING RAINBOWS (released May 12 via Nettwerk Music Group) is an ode not just to that kind of intimacy, but to that pure passion: KESMAR comes to life as he tries to (poetically) capture and comprehend what it means to feel so connected to another person.

KESMAR © Jenaya Okpalanze
KESMAR © Jenaya Okpalanze



“This was a song that went through so many different versions,” KESMAR – aka Sydney-based singer/songwriter and producer Nathan Hawes – tells Atwood Magazine. “I really couldn’t pinpoint what I wanted to achieve, I ended up bringing it back to the absolute basics: Drums, bass, electric keyboard, and a guitar. As soon as I took out all of the unneeded parts it fell into place.”

“Working in isolation can drive you mad, but the payoff is equally as nice; making this record and learning how to make it in the process really pushed me, it pushed me to always do better, not to cut corners, and when recording on an 8-track it will bluntly reveal a good song or a bad song.”

The 8-track reveals this to be a particularly beautiful, buoyant groove.

KESMAR reaches a musical and emotional climax in the chorus, wearing his heart proudly on his sleeve as he confesses a deep and lasting love – one that will endure, even if other factors get in the way of them staying together. “Is it you I miss?” he asks, already knowing the answer. “I’m gonna be here when it’s over. How will I take ever losing this? You lift the weight off my shoulders…

too late we’re back again don’t cry
i wanna keep you in my life
not up to me if it’s not right
don’t wanna be here in a lie
i really wanna take you out
cause I’m the only one that’s here for you
will you be there when i take the fall
is it you i miss
I’m gonna be here when it’s over
how will i take ever losing this
you lift the weight off my shoulders
KESMAR © Jenaya Okpalanze
KESMAR © Jenaya Okpalanze



It may be 2023, but “Is It You I Miss” instantly transports us to the mid-1970s with Hawes’ rich, enchanting vocal harmonies, his radiant guitar riffs, soothing rhythm strums, and vibrant keyboard work – look out for some extra-sweet brass action right around the minute-and-a-half mark as well! You never know which instrument will end up standing out when you’re recording a song, but on this track, everything shines.

KESMAR channels a distinctly vintage sound into the 21st Century with color, candor, and charm. “Is It You I Miss” is just one of eight wonders waiting to dazzle our ears and our hearts on ALWAYS CHASING RAINBOWS, a record that channels the spirits of everyone from John Lennon and Paul McCartney to Frankie Valli, The Bee Gees, Paul Simon, and Squeeze as a talented artist finds his footing, hones his voice, and soars.

Truly, this must be the start of something special.

and i’ll keep waiting by the phone
will it right stay home
time is always slowing down
but i wanna be around
anyway
it is like yesterday
and that’s why I’m here to say

— —

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Stream: “Is It You I Miss” – KESMAR




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Always Chasing Rainbows - KESMAR

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