Catching up with Natalie McCool

Natalie McCool is one of Liverpool's finest exports. Her first album excited us and every single she's released since has pushed her to new heights. Her sophomore album, The Great Unknown is around the corner so it seems a good time to catch up and have a natter with her; especially since it's been four years since we last spoke...

Hey Natalie! It's been a while since we last chatted with you back in 2012! How have things been?
Wow - long time no speak! I don’t think I had even released my first album then, and this one’s my second! Things have been great! New album coming out that I am super proud of, and I’m going on tour in early September - woohoo!

You've been busy with singles since your last album really wowed us - at least some of which will be appearing on The Great Unknown. Have you enjoyed working on smaller projects or has the album given you something to dig your teeth into?
I think I was finding my feet in what I wanted to write about next, foraging into different themes and experiences and writing so much about everything that’s happened over the past couple of years in my life. This album includes some of those singles as part of that journey. It’s been a really maturate experience for me - but in contrast to that I think the songs are more raw and fierce than ever.

Which is your favourite track on The Great Unknown?
Ooo that is HARD! I would say 'Pins'. So much <3 for that song - writing that was like spitting out all the bad blood for me. Audacious, cathartic bliss. And it’s GREAT to play live.

What made you choose Pledge Music for the release of this album? Does it help you connect more with your fans?
Yeah Pledge has been brilliant, so connecting and at first nerve wracking!! But I know my fans and they love having that insight and closeness. My house tour was a roaring success because of that so I knew this was gonna be so much fun and emotionally rewarding for both of us!

What has been the most exciting moment of your career to date?
Getting my first play on BBC Radio 1! I think as a kid looking up to music and bands, when you think of getting played on the radio - that is something SO big - and especially BBC Radio 1 as it’s like the pinnacle of UK radio. I literally jumped up and down screaming about it I was so excited.

Last time we spoke to you, you said your music was like "you’re having a séance with Bat For Lashes, Placebo and Fleetwood Mac" - how have your influences changed since then? How would you describe your sound now?
Wow! I still love all of those bands. I saw Fleetwood Mac last year at Isle of Wight festival - it was breathtaking. Now my sound is more visceral pop but still keeping all those edges. It’s intelligent lyrics, with off kilter production. Personally I call it pop with a brain.

You were added to the playlist on Radio 1 a few months back - that must've been a big step up?
Yes considering my reaction to first getting played on there haha!! That was amazing - I was so proud!! And ecstatic. Huw Stephens is SUCH a great support. I saw him at Kendall Calling and just went up and said hello, we just chatted about music. He was sat with his musician friend, also Welsh, also called Huw. He gave me said friend Huw’s CD. What a guy.

When did you decide you wanted to make music your career?
I started playing guitar when I was eight and was just obsessed immediately. From then on I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my time on earth.

You can pre-order The Great Unknown on PledgeMusic and follow her on Twitter.

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