Natalie Williams – Straight On ‘Til Morning (2020)
It’s funny how many good singers I’ve found through drum’n’bass recently. I discovered Natalie Williams through producer Nu:Tone, but it turns out that her husband (and the co-producer of this EP) Rob Mullarkey is also Jacob Collier’s bassist. Natalie is probably most known as a singer at the jazz club Ronnie Scott’s. She has released several soul/jazz/pop albums before, but it seems like she’s been working extra hard on these four songs, which you can tell. These are four very well-written, well-produced songs with funny and sometimes relatable lyrics. The first track is a joyous guitar-driven pop song about eternal youth, referring to the character Peter Pan. The second track is more down to earth, a groovy soul song about being in a relationship and wishing you had a little more money to spare, and I’m sure many culture workers can relate during Covid times. The third track is a 6/8 soul ballad about not being able to sleep, again very relatable for some! The fourth track is a joyous soul pop, and the title “Don’t Kiss Girls on Bikes” says all you need to know. Overall, I think Natalie’s music is very underrated; with not many streams on Spotify. Even if the production is up to date, it feels like this kind of music would have been more popular if it was released in the 90’s. But I hope she gets the recognition she deserves with this one; it’s a bunch of really good songs!