Nate Currin is a man on a musical journey.
Recently, he concluded a major chapter in his own epic pilgrimage.
Drawing inspiration from John Bunyan's literary work "Pilgrim's Progress" and his own life, Currin recorded his second full-length album, properly titled "The Pilgrim," this past year.
Currin is nearing the end of a 60-date tour that began in May and will be stopping by the Hostess City for the first time in more than three years on Aug. 23 for a special release party at The Sentient Bean. The 18-track odyssey was released Aug. 6 and is available on iTunes and Currin's website.
The concept album's inception and recent conclusion has been its own journey, which began for Currin more than five years ago. While living in Atlanta, he started penning songs loosely based on his life and the book.
"I was made to read the 'Pilgrim's Progress' growing up," Currin said. "It always stuck with me. I got to college and had to read it in an English class. I read it again, but from an entirely different perspective.
"When I decided to do a story concept album, I wanted to do something I could work my life into. I wanted to do something that was a journey, and the first thing that popped into my head was a Pilgrim's Progress."
Currin started writing songs while reading a manuscript written in the early modern English of the book's publishing period (1678). The project soon came to a halt, though, as Currin realized the immensity of the undertaking, and he decided to shelve the project.
He refocused and released several smaller EPs, and his first full-length album, "Goodnight California" in 2011. Prior to "Goodnight California," Currin found success with the single, "Velvet Skin," which was featured on the MTV show "The Hills" and later released on the EP "Songs for Magnolia" in 2009.
Currin became convinced the concept album would never come to life. But as he performed several songs he had written for it, people started asking him when he was going to finish it. And so, he took his leave of the South, moved to San Francisco in 2012, and finished the album.
"There is certainly a sense of accomplishment, and relief, as well," Currin said. "When I started the album, I wrote a couple of songs, and literally was like, 'I am never going to finish this.' I definitely feel relieved. More then anything I've done, I feel an enormous sense of accomplishment with this project."
"Pilgrim" is a departure from the pop-rock of "Goodnight California," and for Currin, it was a trip back to his folk/singer/songwriter roots.
"(Folk is) my style," Currin said. "It's been my style for the last 10 years and I just experimented with something on the last album ("Goodnight California"). The whole folk movement is my vein. It's where I've been, personally, for the last decade. It's the most comfortable for me."
Ahead of the album's August release, Currin debuted two singles, "The Mountain" and "Vanity Fair." For the latter, Currin also made a music video filled with strange creatures and lots of makeup.
Currin's version of "Vanity Fair" (based on a city of the same name in "Pilgrim's Progress") opens with an eerie circus calliope playing a staccato progression that emotes into a minor chord acoustic guitar progression.
Currin paraphrases the scene from the book, doing well to illustrate Bunyan's warning concerning the vanities of life.
"Initially when I first started doing this project, I approached it like I was going to loosely base this album on the book, but more on my life," he said. "It really turned into pretty strictly following the book. Even more so than I had originally planned. I like the whole idea of a man on a journey. Because that's what I've been. That's where I've been, and that's how I've been."
IF YOU GO
What: Nate Currin
When: 8 p.m. Aug. 23
Where: The Sentient Bean, 13 E. Park Ave.
Cost: $5 suggested donation