New To Us – Natalie Evans

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Who?
Natalie Evans is, well, Natalie Evans. Harpist, guitarist, pianist and singer, previously featured on this site as the vocalist with Anglo-Norwegian trio, you could be a cop.

What?
Natalie’s solo material is a melting-pot of influences, taking in ideas from folk, classical and the more experimental elements of pop music. Dense tappestries of eclectic instrumentation are woven, atop of which Natalie’s delicate vocals dance and soar.

Where?
Although now based out London, Natalie’s originally from Kent. Home of Canterbury Cathedral, The White Cliffs Of Dover and an awful lot of fruit trees, Kent is the tenth largest county in England and home to nearly two million residents. Although it is known as The Garden Of England, the county has a diverse economy including tourism, haulage and scientific research. Due to its proximity to London and relatively rural setting, Kent is home to numerous music festivals, while famous musical offspring of the county include Kevin Ayers, Keith Richards and Kate Bush.

When?
A debut EP came as long ago as 2010, numerous singles have followed since and back in May this year, Natalie released her debut album, Better At Night on Small Pond Recordings.

Why?
Much of the music on Natalie’s debut album, Better At Night, is inspired by her fascination with classical music. Although not classically trained, a combination of a studious approach and a desire to explore her interests has seen Natalie become highly proficient on numerous instruments. The way she fuses this minimialist compositional approach with an almost bedroom-pop sound recalls acts like Haiku Salut as much as the inevitable Joanna Newsom comparison coming every harp-playing, youthful voiced songwriters way.

Citing influences as diverse as Bjork and Jeffrey Lewis, the music across Better At Night is perhaps unsurprisingly eclectic, from the dense, almost Lemon Jelly-like pulse of In Trees through to the piano-led offering of Rooftops. It is an album that is undeniably experimental without ever sounding deliberately complex. At times you feel the ideas on the record are simply tumbling out of this songwriting brain, an array of sounds and ideas that feel deeply organic in their origins.

Why Not?
The youthful-sounding vocals, might be a little too gentle and ethereal for some, if like us though you’re a fan of them it’s hard to find much else to criticise.

Better At Night is out now via Small Pond. Click HERE for more information on Natalie Evans.

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