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The Old Illusions



I recorded a new song, "It Never Ends," with the composer and pianist, Timo Andres.

Also available on iTunes for $.99!


The Old Illusions | Selected Reviews:

"The Old Illusions is a very intimate, earnest album. Bellows’ vocals are piercing, and very distinct; perhaps the best comparison would be that of Marcus Mumford, but more refined. That’s not to say this lacks in any emotional capacity, for it’s the intensity of Johnny Cash or Leonard Cohen that lives within Bellows’ ability to tell a story and focus squarely on the lyrics. And it really is the vocal performance here that stands out; Bellows bears the unmistakable mark of a haunted, introspective artist. This is the perfect tool to enhance the lyrical, poetic and vivid imagery of the lyrical content...The Old Illusions is a perfect title for this record; Bellows is indeed a throwback and progressive all at once. This isn’t a showy or flashy album, but it is full of imaginative vibrance. A complex and interesting songwriter, Bellows has fashioned an album that requires more than a single listening to appreciate everything happening in the arrangements and lyrics."
- Heidi Drockelman, Indie Music

"In [The Old Illusions] there’s a wild delight in the sensual quality of language. In closer “The Calm,” Bellows cartwheels through lines like, “In the calm and the psalm and the salt that’s thrown over the shoulder of the saddest of soldiers who’s carving a doll from the soap in the stall of his horse.” The Old Illusions is a moving record that reconstructs the past through what was handed down and, more, what we still tell ourselves. There isn’t a wasted note, inflection, or moment here. Indeed, there is no time for showy virtuosity when there’s so much to say". - Richard Sanford, The Agit Reader

"Unconventional low fi recording and years of finesse have worked a treat on The Old Illusions. There is a warm through line that channels through these songs [and]gives it s a unique olden sound, which when mixed with the homemade recordings gives it added depth and flavour. Folk fans – your first essential album of 2016 is here." - Simon Smith, Higher Plain Music

"The Old Illusions is simply a man and his guitar; combining Bellows’ haunting voice akin to the baritone base of Marcus Mumford, and his introspective, and colorful lyrics aid in the immense quality of this record. There are times when listening to this album, that you will unknowingly be tapping your foot or nodding your head. This is definitely an album you should listen to more than once, each listen gives you a different impression of the music and definitely, Nathaniel Bellows as a musician."
- Margaret Jokoh, WLOY Loyola Radio (score 9/10)

"The Old Illusions is an impressive debut; [an] earnest album…Bellows employs a minimal approach to song writing. In the main, these solemn ballads are based around acoustic guitar, piano, flute, backing vocals and the deep voice of Bellows. The style is not dissimilar to early Leonard Cohen, both in the sparseness of instrumentation, and in the poetic style and content. The simplistic nature of the composition works well with the poet’s lyrical style, allowing the skeletal rhythm of the words to show healthily through a lean body of guitar and atmosphere…Bellows has a mature [and] strong, clear voice." - GIGSoup UK

"I’ve found myself listening to tons of wintry folk tunes, but perhaps none sounds as complete as the new album from Nathaniel Bellows. The Old Illusions is filled with intricate little guitar details, and a voice that haunts the inside of your mind. Listen carefully throughout, as you’re going to find these little bits of accompaniment that make this album wholly enchanting and pretty inescapable. In a landscape where tunes get discarded for the next batch, this is something with which you can spend all day."
- Nathan Lankford, Austin Town Hall

“[Oh, Now] is an incredibly complex track that requires more than one listen– each time you play it you will discover something new. Bellows’ lyrics can be taken apart and interpreted how you wish. This track is a wonderful departure from the common, cookiecutter songs, and will leave you wanting more.” – Elmore Magazine

"[Oh, Now] is a tender, patient track with a charming dramatic quality to it, a somber horn section really bringing the heartbreak home." - Magnet Magazine