"Hot Album. Nick Batterham sure can write about love. Love in all its beauty and joy, as well as its sadness and sorrow. His fifth solo album swings from grim to gorgeous. "The Prince of Pascoe Vale" has delivered a deep, dark gem. " - themusic.com.au
"14 sumptuous titles, subtly orchestrated, with bright harmonies on the voice of Nick who breathes poetic charm in every word... Nick Batterham's writing is currently one of the best on the international indie scene... he writes and describes his feelings, dark or bright, sets them to music like a silversmith, arranges and harmonizes like a sculptor. Golden Boy is epithelial, authentic, fits in the intimate, embraces and becomes a monument of delicacy." - Marie-Agnes Halle, Piggledypop, France
"At first you might think the big hooks, jangling guitars and layers of harmonies on ‘Nothing lasts’ – the glorious, infectious radio-hit-in-waiting second track on Golden Boy – don’t fit with the rest of the album’s generally sparse and subtle landscape. In fact, ‘Nothing lasts’, which is as accomplished a pop song as anything Batterham wrote for The Earthmen, fits the mood of this album to a tee.
Batterham’s previous record, Self Inflicted, No Sympathy (2015), was his darkest album by far. It was 3am set to music, with no hint the night would ever end.
Golden Boy wears the scars, but it is not bleak or sunk in self-loathing. The darkness is still there, but it is starting to be shot through with the golden light of approaching dawn.
We get the possibilities of a future. “I could be stronger, if you could do the same for me,” Batterham promises on ‘No excuses’. “Do you believe in romantic love,” he asks in ‘Lost’.
Whether addressing a departed lover or giving himself advice, the desire, the need for human connection is at the heart of every song.
“Give me a little bit, more often; I don’t want to be demanding,” Batterham whispers/sings in ‘Impossible’, a key track driven by gorgeous warm bass, chiming piano notes and otherworldly cathedral vocals in the chorus. Tentatively reaching out, hoping to connect, to bond, but fearing “this may be impossible”.
The realisation that daring to trust is the only way to grow is apparent in the sumptuous title track too, where Batterham sings, “find a new song and sing true, so everything behind you was worthwhile”.
Golden Boy is a superbly recorded album. Every element has room to breathe and Batterham’s voice has never sounded more intimate.
Several songs are achingly short, leaving the listener wanting more and contributing to the overwhelming impression that everything is finite, but while we live, we must love.
Nothing lasts. Accepting that is part of being human. Golden Boy is the sound of a man who has picked himself up off the canvas and is staring the future straight in the eye."
Josh Meadows - January 2018