“We all die one day at a time, but we live that way, too,” N.W. Engbers says, slouched in a shabby chair nursing a glass a bourbon. “Each of us must make that decision every day—to be alive or to die.”
For Engbers, this choice has been a constant wrestling match. One that is evident in each track of his new EP, The Inner World. The singer/songwriter from South Dakota has held countless day jobs over the past half decade. He’s counseled the mentally ill, worked in a mailroom, sat behind a desk as a financial advisor, and wrote copy as a marketing professional. But none of them stuck. “I was a sellout,” he says. “There was nothing wrong with any of those jobs, but they were killing me. I wasn’t being who I was made to be. So I quit and I quit and I quit. I was a songwriter then. I’m a songwriter now. I’m a songwriter forever.”
With The Inner World, Engbers gives voice to the hopes and fears of the millennial generation. He grapples with the mysteries of life and death and articulates heady themes with plainspoken lyrics and hummable melodies.
Co-Produced by Engbers and Benjamin Brodin (Conor Oberst, Anna McClellan), The Inner World was recorded at Omaha’s renowned ARC Studios and mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering in Chicago, IL. Far from simply a solo record, Engbers collaborated with his band to create soundscapes reminiscent of the vast prairie he calls home. The record blends the indie/alternative rock influences of his formative years with a more recent appreciation for alt-country and folk to create a genre-bending style that is both honest and accessible.