Oh boy oh boy oh boy! Things like this are why I love doing what I do. Natalie McCool is an absolutely outstanding musician who I’ve been keeping an eye on for the last few years and I’m delighted to say that she took the time to answer a few questions for me – isn’t she nice? With an absolutely magnificent signature style and far more musical talent than you’ll see in the average performer, she is truly someone worth listening to no matter what your tastes are. So, without any further grovelling, here’s our back and forth;
Please introduce yourself; who are you, where are you from and what do you do?
Natalie McCool, currently in Liverpool, I write & perform music.
How would you best describe your sound? Who would you place yourself in the same bracket as?
Alt-pop, reverb guitar layered with crystal clear vocals. Vocally I have been placed in the same category as The xx, Kate Bush, Kimbra and, my personal favourite, Shakira. Guitar-wise I have been placed with The Smiths & Jeff Buckley.
I first heard your music through my friend Thom Morecroft (name-drop, sorry…) a couple of years ago, how do you feel you’ve developed as an artist since then?
It’s been an upward trajectory and I’m really looking forward to the next couple of months in particular. I think in the past year I have really figured out what I want to do.
How much do you feel your Merseyside upbringing has affected your sound and the way you view music?
I grew up in Widnes which is in Cheshire, when I was first going to see live music there was a lot of industrial folk, real songwriting about real life, about happiness and bleakness. I guess that really influenced me.
What are your thoughts on the Liverpool music scene? Who is worth listening to and where would you recommend people go to find new music?
Having grown up around here, it’s great. Friends of mine here include Silent Cities, Broken Men, Outfit, Etches & Bird. The best venues in my opinion are The Kazimier & LEAF but there are so many more! Really worth checking out.
You’ve got your own merchandise including some rather lovely t-shirts (get you!), how important do you think it is for artists to create their own brand?
I think it’s really important from a visual aspect, if fans can’t remember what you look like or put any image to you in their heads, they won’t remember you. Also I think it’s a part of creating your own identity which is important.
How important do you think a good musical education is with regards to creating great music? Do you feel that studying at LIPA has significantly enhance your skills?
I don’t think you need an academic musical education. LIPA helped me massively, just as much as it has helped all of my peers in the same way, but the main part of it was meeting people who had the same interests as me and creating music with them, live and in the studio. I think what it really boils down to is experience and a real passion for music.
How do you feel about music?
It’s in my blood now! It would be very bleak without it. How would we pass the time?
Your Living Room Tour was a brilliant idea, how did you come up with the plan for yours? Will you be doing something similar again?
Living room gigs are actually very popular, I just created my own brand! I had such an amazing time that I will definitely think about doing it again. Everyone was so brilliant and it was nice to meet fans too.
What can we expect to hear from you in the next few months?
I have shows in Germany & Russia and I’m going back into the studio to record an EP with Dave Berger (Outfit drummer & producer). I am so excited about the songs I’ve written and I can’t wait to write the arrangements and play with them too.
Who is your least favourite cartoon character?
Pinky and the Brain. Too emo
Anything you’d like to add?
New single ‘Dig It Out’ is out now, you can download it here.