Dancing into numbness.
The beauty of Natalie Nicole’s music is that it feels so effortlessly dreamy. Everything from the subdued, layered and slightly computerised vocals to the rubbery synths in use, nothing feels angular. Yes, there are drum machines and thick bass moments but it is like you are swimming in musical candy floss. It takes a lot to convey this amount of fluidity and Natalie pulls it off.
Across her new EP “Spilling”, Natalie tackles songs of feeling overwhelmed and wishing circumstances would change. On the title track, she speaks of empty promises and the bruises they leave. At the same time, the music itself has a gliding synth lead that slowly detunes towards the end as if even the song has turned sour. “Shallow Water” is about sabotage and this theme runs throughout the EP. The synth-based indietronica jams so easily that you can miss the pointed reality of the lyrics in their soft subdued delivery.
“2020” is the central track that mixes together ethereal choral moments with a gentle and mystical guitar-led melody. “Plume” electrifies that guitar for a bass groove that reminds me of a little of Curve and Lamb if they were having a very bleak moment. There’s also an element of Garbage here too, their ballad side at least. The muddy synths and arpeggiators are a constant glittery glimmer that are then made grubby with peaking and guitar noise. The closing track “Centripetal” is possibly the most bombastic and uptempo of the release with dramatic live drums, overblown hushed vocals and bleeding synths that cover your speakers with an oppressive 1988 dystopian whine.
Throughout it all Natalie Nicoles might be muted and clearly conveying difficult situations, but she keeps it catchy. The melodies and chords love a good minor note but that’s all part of the charm. Natalie isn’t making electronic music to dance gleefully to, it’s more of a comfortably numb sway of the undead. With synths and a beat. I really clicked with this release and it deserves a lot more attention so if you like your electronica sad, give this a whirl. You won’t regret it.
Recommended track: Spilling
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