Mike Atkinson

Natalie Duncan: EP review.

Posted in Nottingham Post, singles reviews by Mike A on July 10, 2009

Natalie Duncan – 5 track EP.
Farmyard Records

Natalie is a 20-year old singer and keyboardist from Nottingham, who has been making steady progress on the local live circuit. Her debut release showcases five original compositions, four of which are performed with a full band: saxophone, cello, flute, bass and drums.

There’s something breezy and yet melancholic about the arrangements, which blend soul and jazz influences with a more folky, acoustic approach. Natalie’s vocal style might loosely belong within the Bille Holiday / Nina Simone / Aretha Franklin tradition, but she also brings something uniquely of her own to the table. Her songs are complex and contemplative, resisting easy interpretations. At times, you feel that she is singing more to herself than to an outside audience, and there’s a diffidence to her approach that does place certain a barrier between herself and the listener. Nevertheless, Natalie’s slow-burning passion and unarguable talent make this EP an absorbing and refreshing delight.

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