You know sometimes when I travel to work (clearly that hasn’t been for a while because of my various broken bones, but still) and travelling back, there are some songs and moods that just capture a calmness, almost a solitude, so next thing you know you’ve gone about 20 miles down the M1, or driven to the wrong place (I do that quite often). The music of Natalie Nicole Gilbert does that too me. It’s as if I sit there and the road (or room as it is at the moment – I’m not yet allowed to drive again, curse slippy decking) almost loses focus and becomes a fog to the sound washing over your ears.
Natalie Nicole Gilbert – Can’t take this anymore
It’s a great sound too. Jazzy, but earthier than a Norah Jones, more wistful that a KT Tunstall, less country tinged than Iron & Wine, but still a mix of those things which produces this kind of misty experience. She describes it as ethereal, but to me its beautiful first, and maybe kind of (and I absolutely mean that in a good way) whimsical yet real sounding.
Living in Hollywood, Gilbert was a radio DJ and voiceover artist and fell into music. Her mother is a professional musician and Gilbert shied away from it, practising in secret in Church Basements and the like, and it has served her well, with comparisons to other piano playing singer-songwriters (Tori Amos and associates I like to think of it as) another obvious comparison, although maybe (just maybe) you could also throw a little of (whisper it) Nina Simone in there. Mome of these records do swing, acoustically yes, but a strong, talented soulful, piano playing woman at the centre of it all
Having released a handful of records, both physically and digitally, she had a new album out , titled Slip of the Tongue, available digitally from here, as well as through the usual download sites. This followed on from a greatest hits she had out last year as well, which is available free from here.
Listening through the album, Natalie Nicole manages to hold her style and feel through the different influences taken from all the collaborators she has used for the project. These include with jazz pianist Craig Swanson, composers Michael Shapiro and Dana Bisignano, songwriter/guitarist Judith de los Santos, producer/guitarist Benson Russell and the late Taylor Weidner. Quite a line-up. And definitely worth checking out. Just make sure you concentrate on your journeys home from work, would you.
Natalie Nicole Gilbert – Santa Monica