“HEAR! HEAR!” EXCLUSIVE: From Mumbai to Los Angeles, Natania’s “Cherry Love” will tie your heart in knots
Stream and Download Natania’s single “Cherry Love,” exclusively here at “Hear! Hear!”
- – -
Two years ago Natania left her home in Mumbai for Los Angeles, with a guitar and a dream. She’d always thought of her music as a hobby, but arriving in the US, she took a leap of faith, enrolled herself in Berklee College of Music’s five-week summer program, then followed that with Musician’s Institute’s vocal program. From there, a hobby became her way of life.
Now she’s ready to take the indie-pop world by storm with her ear-catching blend of Ingrid Michaelson and Sarah Bareilles. “My cherry love / you taste like chapstick on my tongue / when you tie a stem I come undone,” she sings over a melody crafted of acoustic guitar, tasteful keyboards and slightly off-kilter percussive riffing. It’s just the kind of pop confection to give you a perfect pre-Thanksgiving sweet tooth, with a singable hook you won’t easily extract from your head … or your tongue.
Download the song through the SoundCloud app above, and sound off below in the comments — what do you think of Natania’s first single?
DOWNLOAD MP3: Sarah Miles – “Middle of Nowhere” (right click, “save as”)
If I could run a hundred miles
I’d still be so far from anywhere worthwhile
Now I see how hard it is to be alone
I can’t run a hundred miles
For those about to get your piano pop on, I salute you. And if you’re taking my advice, you’ll be playing “Middle of Nowhere,” a sunny pop nugget from Sarah Miles which fits perfectly into any lineup featuring the likes of Sarah Bareilles or Vanessa Carlton, with just enough rock to get your feet moving while the hooks dance between your ears and peer pressure you into repeating endlessly. If you dig that track, grab it for free via the link above, then give her other tracks a listen: “Never Ending Chase” and “Find My Way Home” are equally ear-catching, hinting strongly that this New York singer-songwriter’s’ music is destined to push as far from the middle of nowhere as possible.
Year of the Album — #036
Christina Perri – “Lovestrong” (2011, Atlantic Records)
There’s something to be said for having your strongest song featured in a brilliant dance routine on a major television dancing program. This particularly holds true when you’re an unsigned songwriter moonlighting as a waitress, because said featured dance can suddenly propel your song onto the Billboard Hot 100 and convince major labels to sign you and build a full album around that song. In the case of Christina Perri, that song was “Jar of Hearts,” and based on the additional material now available on Lovestrong, her Atlantic Records debut, it’s now clear she would have likely found success without So You Think You Can Dance, though to what level can certainly be debated.
What isn’t up for debate is the quality of the music here. While “Jar of Hearts” is still her strongest ballad, what stands out on Lovestrong is that Christina Perri wants to be the next Sarah Bareilles, even as she occasionally twists the musical knife into Regina Spektor territory. And trust me, there’s a lot of knife twisting going on here in the lyrics; if you think “Jar of Hearts” was a bitter taste of love lost, try listening to “Bang, Bang, Bang” and not wonder about the broken-down relationship that led to this material. “Word on the street is that she did to you what you did to me … bang bang bang, boy, you’re going down down down, boy,” she sings, “to the ground where you left my heart to bleed where she shot you, karma tastes so sweet!” All melded to a catchy pop chorus built on a fat bassline and raw piano stomp. This is top-notch pop, pure and simple.
But some of the best surprises are the ones where she gets to add a touch of Spektoresque flourish, as on “Mine,” with its off-kilter piano arrangement which constantly shifts in speed and tone, or the album’s closer, “Tragedy,” which melds a fiery, haunting cello with ominous piano chords and Perri’s dark, brilliant vocals. That song in particular sounds as though it would have been equally compatable with Nicole Atkins’ Mondo Amore, or on anything by Brandi Carlile. “I won’t be made a fool of, don’t call this love!” she sings before the song reaches its zenth and the transcendent melody fully warps its way into your mind. “Why did you feel the need to prove that everybody else was right? No, I won’t fight …you’re my tragedy!”
All told, Christina Perri’s Lovestrong more than lives up to the level hinted at by “Jar of Hearts,” turning that song into the dark center of what has to be the strongest breakup album to come out this year. She may not be love strong, but there’s defintely a sense of songcraft and originality to the music of Christina Perri which makes me look forward to what this songwriter’s going to do on future albums. This is definitely an album which packs an emotional whallop, and it’s well worth taking the time to discover.
I’m launching a new feature category today — “Artists To Watch.” I’ll use this category to highlight emerging artists who are getting noticed online or in the industry, but who have not yet had significant chart success.
The first artist I’d like to highlight is a Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter who sounds like a cross between Sarah Bareilles and Anna Nalick. Jamie Lynn Noon has garnered notice from Billboard of late with their new “uncharted” chart, and though she’s got no immediate album release plans, “Second of a Spark” off her 2009 debut EP A Moment To Break is a solid slice of contemporary piano pop. Right now it’s only been viewed by 10,000 fans or so on YouTube, but it’s got the hook to catch on with top 40 radio. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear a lot more from her, particularly if she embraces a slight tinge of country — songs like “Second of a Spark” have been crossover monsters in the past with the right marketing touch.