Artist: Natalie Royal
Label: Serendipitous Music
Release Date: 03/11/2016
Though hailing from Nashville, Natalie Royal may firmly represent a lady songstress from the canyon better than many of her Californian contemporaries.
With an eclectic mix of dissonant pop and empowered anthems that borrows from the likes of Joni Mitchell and Leslie Feist, Royal’s latest Harbinger is the latest entry in a well-established line of soon-to-be female legacy recordings. Royal’s seemingly bare bones approach to embracing her role as a new age eclectic chanteuse comes to fruition on the record, her transformation palpable throughout 10 tracks.
Our lady Natalie is perhaps reluctant with the mantle bestowed upon her, bringing her own brand of naysaying to the forefront as she grapples with the context of her songs. However, such opposition is couched for the material within “Misery Loves Company Too” a near treatise on how celebrity is inevitable lest the artist herself succumb to abandonment.
Royal still maintains tinges of her Tennessee upbringing throughout Harbinger – specifically in her acute neo-country traction of “It’s Funny How.” It’s easy to forget that Royal wasn’t primed in the Polyphonic spree camp or something of the like with her sublimely verbose rests, yet she’ll somehow end up on café playlists, too.
The only fault with Harbinger is a slight listlessness at the conclusion of the record. An outro of sorts may have proved helpful in fully forming Royal’s vision, but it’s only a slight quibble for what is an overall incredibly satisfying sophomore release.
– Jake Tully