On her newest single, “Flow,” indie R&B artist Nat Reed invites listeners into a complex and personal world: “There’s no map / You just have to explore me.” Her smooth electronic track is brief yet searing, born in the midst of a painful anxiety episode.

I definitely struggle with very serious social anxiety,” said Reed, “so I wrote ‘Flow’ on a day that it was really bad.” Reed missed class and pushed herself to create, ultimately writing, recording, and producing “Flow” within just four hours. The song layers pulsing synthesizers and contemporary R&B beats, unfolding a raw, atmospheric adventure.

Along with “Selfish,” a single she released in mid-November, Reed made “Flow” completely on her own. “I decided that the first EP (Nat Reed, 2016) wasn’t a perfect version of my artistic vision,” Reed explained. “It was much more a collaboration, so I wanted to really hone in and develop some production skills so that the next projects that I did would really just be me.” Both tracks portray a confessional excitement within catchy, sultry dance vibes. “In this project, I’d like to think each song is a different character and a different version of my personality,” said Reed. “‘Selfish’ is my more forward, outgoing, slightly egotistical side. And ‘Flow’ is the more internal, the way I am by myself and my own brain struggles.”

In “Flow” Reed confronts her demons with vulnerability. Her vocals are confident and desperate – “Baby follow me / I need your time, I need your patience.” Usually, when making music, Reed spends hours perfecting every note. But creating “Flow” took on a natural process in the form of dedicated personal investigation. “It just felt so raw and complete in that state that I didn’t feel like I needed to rewrite it,” said Reed.I felt like it really mirrored how anxiety affects me in the production.” Toward the end of the song, the music stops—everything but a beautifully haunting vocal hum—and Reed repetitively sings the word, “Flow.” “I liked the visual of water flowing because nothing stops water, water just breaks through everything,” she said. “I feel like that’s my creative energy and my personality; the anxiety tries to choke it but I try to let everything flow through.”

Reed plans on releasing a single every month until she decides to make another record (and hopefully a music video). Explore Reed’s blooming sound below and feel the flow. She performs at Midway Cafe on February 1st.

 

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