When Nate Smith first posted his song “Wildfire” to TikTok in 2020, the Paradise, California, artist had high hopes for the tune but likely never dreamed of how far it would take him. Fast-forward to 2023 and Smith is signed to Sony Music Nashville, with NATE SMITH marking his debut full-length project. It wasn’t overnight success for Smith, though, as he’d already tried one stint in Nashville in the mid-2010s before moving back home to Paradise. After losing his home in the Butte County Camp Fire in 2018, Smith wrote a song, “One of These Days,” to cope with his loss, and soon found his music getting attention again. He moved back to Nashville and eventually began posting music to TikTok, a bet on himself that paid off. NATE SMITH opens with “If I Could Stop Loving You,” a heartbreak anthem heavy on hooks. “You Only Want Me When You’re Drunk” is a groovy blend of funk and country pop, with Smith’s versatile voice pairing well with the track’s throbbing bass and poppy chorus. “Name Storms After” is a clever ode to a one-of-a-kind love, while “You Shouldn’t Have To” encourages a flame to accept herself for who she is. Smith closes the record with “I Don’t Wanna Go to Heaven,” an emotional, piano-driven track about wishing to stay with a loved one forever. And while “Wildfire” didn’t make the final tracklist, Smith serves up plenty of other tunes worthy of sharing.

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