"I once had my own catering company back in Texas called Nattie Nae’s Catering" We chat with Natalie Schlabs
With her first album in four years out in the wild, we took the chance to speak to singer-songwriter Natalie Schlabs about what she's been up to, her new music, and to find out something new about her.
Hey Natalie, great to talk to you, what have you been up to today?
You too! I’m in the middle of cooking dinner and doing laundry!
And where are you right now?
I’m in my house in Nashville, TN at my small kitchen table.
What’s been keeping you busy in 2020?
My toddler always keeps me busy! I’ve been hard at work putting out my newest record and trying to write new songs, too.
Alright, introduce yourself, and tell us something about you that we won’t find in your bio or on Wikipedia.
I’m a working singer-songwriter now, but I once had my own catering company back in Texas called "Nattie Nae’s Catering".
That is a cool fact. What can you tell me about Don’t Look Too Close in two sentences?
My second album, Don’t Look Too Close, is full of tensions between the past, present, and future, as well as the lessons I’ve learned coming into my 30s and becoming a mother. The sounds are a mixture of genres from indie and pop to folk and Americana.
OK, you’ve got a bit more time, tell me something interesting about the recording of the album.
On some of the songs, we added a cool effect to my vocals by processing a doubled vocal through a guitar amp. I was a bit afraid of adding too much that wouldn’t translate performing live, but I love the way this turned out!
It’s been four years since your last album, what’s been going on with you in that time?
Writing songs, learning more about the music industry, managing an Airbnb rental in our house, growing a baby, and touring with another artist singing background vocals and doing merch.
One of my favourite tracks is ‘Eye Of The Storm’, what can you tell me about that song?
Thank you! I feel like that by the time you enter your 30s, you have at least one friendship or relationship where you can see they're blowing up their life, but you can’t do anything to help them until they admit they need it. This song is about that
.Your voice is so amazing on ‘Go Outside’, how do you find the process of turning your written words into living and breathing music?
Thank you so much. I’m usually singing and writing at the same time— exploring the most natural way to sing something. I sometimes write something, and then it doesn’t feel right as it comes out of my mouth, so I do some tweaking. I even change things up in the studio. It’s a process!
How do you go about writing, and then choosing which songs to record
I don’t usually start writing a song knowing it's going to be recorded. Usually, after I’ve written a batch of songs, I can step back and see the songs that fit together.
Talk to me about Nashville, what’s so great about it?
In one sense Nashville is a Southern city that’s way too hot and is too spread out, but in another sense your barista maybe one of the best guitar players in town. You also have some of the best songwriters living their life and doing their work quietly. I love that that’s the underbelly of my city.
Who’s your most famous friend? And what story can you tell me about them?
I’d rather not tell a story about any friends, but I will say that I once made a latte for Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman.
What’s next for you?
More writing and more recording— hopefully new music in early 2021.
We normally ask about playing live but there’s not been much of that. So, a topical question instead, what’s the most interesting thing you’ve done/learnt during the pandemic?
I’m learning more about recording at home! I’ve got some new gear, and I’m learning how to use it— slowly!
If you could recommend one song to hear this week, what would it be?
"That Early Love” is a nice one to start with—it’s also the first song on the record, so I recommend you keep going.
What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?
How are you so effortlessly cool?
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
I take it black!