KESMAR is a new chapter for Sydney musician Nathan Hawes. Having first picked up a guitar in 2006, Hawes spent over a decade serenading audiences with his folk tunes with great success. Considering his musical background, Hawes’ latest evolution into KESMAR comes as an eyebrow-raising surprise. He’s traded his acoustic guitar for swirling synths, introducing a more disco-oriented chapter of his career.

KESMAR is very much a project of collaboration and experimentation, and his latest sounds ooze with the brave ambition of an artist who’s treading through uncharted sonic waters. The world will get its first lengthy taste of KESMAR with the Up To You EP, a six-track effort filled with dance, disco and blissful moments of indie-pop. Driven by slick basslines and throwback synths, the project revives the old soul of disco in a contemporary setting, tugging on influences from the past and present.

While much of the EP is enveloped by lyrics about self-doubt in this time of great change for KESMAR, it’s the topic of love that always creeps back into his songwriting. That’s evident from the project’s title track and single ‘Up To You’ recorded in Melbourne and co-written with Tim Ayre and Tobias Priddle. “The lyrical theme came from a relationship I was in at the time, feeling uncertain seeing it roll towards a downward spiral but feeling helpless and letting her decide where it goes – as the hook goes, ‘It’s all Up To You’,” he says.

With the Up To You EP making KESMAR one of the most exciting musical evolutions in the country, it’s clear that this highly danceable project is one that needs to be experienced live onstage – and KESMAR has some grand plans. “When I started writing for this project I was always envisioning a high energy live show, long intro, outros, instrumental tracks, red boiler suits and upbeat music for people to sing along and groove to. So now that the EP is finished and ready for the world to hear it, I’m even more keen to take it to the live show,” he says.