Medium Build talks ‘Cutting Thru The Country’ and “making shit up”

Fresh off his latest single and with a new album imminent, Medium Build swings by Happy to chat music, karaoke, and “making shit up.”

Last week, we were treated to the whirring atmospherics and twangy guitars of Cutting Thru The Country, the latest single from Alaskan artist Medium Build.

Carried by the singer’s gut-punching vocals and a message around the lengths we’ll go to for love, the emotional track is the latest to be lifted from Country, Medium Build’s fifth album set for release on April 5. 

Medium Build interview

Previous releases Crying Over U and In My Room will also feature on the album, a 12-track project that’s sure to solidify Medium Build’s ascent following his 2019 LP Wild.

In anticipation of Country, we caught up with Medium Build — known offstage as Nick Carpenter — for a deep dive into the album’s creation, his love of karaoke, and how he “often will fantasize about quitting music and opening a restaurant.” 

Catch our full interview with Medium Build below, and scroll down to listen to his latest single Cutting Thru The County. 

HAPPY: What are you up to today?

CARPENTER: Wandering around Luxembourg looking for a coffee before the show tonight. 

HAPPY: Tell us a little about where you live, what do you love about it?

CARPENTER: I split time between Alaska and Nashville these days. Alaska, I love the nature and my family and my dogs. Nashville I love the food and the friends and the parks! 

HAPPY: Describe an average day?

CARPENTER: Wake up and go for a good jog or hit the gym. Get some coffee. Walk the dogs. Play some music and then get dinner with mates!

Medium Build interview

HAPPY: What about an ultimate day? 

CARPENTER: Long run out in the mountains with the dogs. Plays some hockey with the friends. Go get a burger from the Blue Fox. Have some beers and sing some karaoke.

HAPPY: From Alaska to Nashville, how has your songwriting process evolved since your move? 

CARPENTER: I’d say my songwriting got more honest when I moved to Alaska. I spent less time considering what’s trending cuz Alaskans don’t really care what’s cool or top of the charts.


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HAPPY: Your work is inspired by personal experiences and observations. Can you share a specific story or inspiration behind one of your most meaningful songs?

CARPENTER: Ya I tend to write about whatever is pressing me at the moment. But sometimes I make shit up. Like for instance there’s a song on the new record called “Hey Sandra” that I made up but it’s based on my dad.

In the song the narrator has a fight with his misses and goes down to the bar to cool off. And after he gets drunk he pens her a letter basically coming clean about all his fears and failures. 

HAPPY: You have mentioned “dedicating yourself to your musical career” in Nashville. What sacrifices or struggles have you overcome to get where you are now? 

CARPENTER: I think the biggest sacrifice is having a normal life. Like being gone all the time has got me feeling distant from so many people and things.

It’s a full blown trade. I often will fantasize about quitting music and opening a restaurant and having a consistent bed and home life.

HAPPY: Your new album is coming out soon. What themes or experiences does it explore, and how does it differ from your previous work? 

CARPENTER: This album spends a lot of time around love and longing and the joys and pain that come with wanting the most from a friendship.

Lot of falling in love songs and a couple wtf is love anymore songs. Even a little love song I wrote to myself on Valentine’s Day a few years ago. 

HAPPY: “Cutting Through The Country” is your most recent single. Can you tell us a little about the creative and recording process?

CARPENTER: I just had this little poem about driving 5 days alone from Alaska to Nashville. So me and Laiko found an old keyboard and made this beat in like 30 minutes and I just screamed the poem like 5 times and we called it a day.

HAPPY: What artists, beyond “country soul,” inspire your genre-bending sound? Who would you love to collaborate with on future projects?

CARPENTER: I grew up on *NSYNC and The Beatles. Then it was OutKast and Radiohead. Then Mac Demarco and Tyler, the Creator.

I don’t really think about dream collaborators. I think I’d be too shy. I just want to work with people that are present and passionate.

HAPPY: With your new album coming out, are there any exciting touring plans on the horizon?

CARPENTER: Loads of touring coming up this year!!! Trying to see as much of the world as they’ll let me. Playing festivals and going all around. Gunna be nuts.

HAPPY: Lastly, what makes you happy?

CARPENTER: Good sleep, decent coffee, exercise, time spent with my nephew, walking my dogs, tossing discs, my headphones, sharing meals with friends, stretching.

Watching history videos on YouTube, finding a decent sandwich in a new town, walking, good public transport, hockey games, Frank the Tank Fleming, a Negroni, brushing my teeth, falling asleep.