A track by track guide to the new album ‘Vol. II: The Acent from Ego to Ego’ from Natalie Pryce. We have been big fans of Natalie Pryce over the course of the last year. When they told us the new album was ready, we asked them to give us a little guide to the songs. Here are their comments….
The artistic musical collective known as Natalie Pryce have finished production on their second album: titled, ‘Vol. II: the Ascent from Ego to Ego’. The album is a further and deeper exploration down the rabbit hole of their individual neo-noir music. The band’s style has been described as having “purpose and drive wrought into every heartwrenching note” by Elaine O’Connor (The Scotsman). The music combines the echoes of early rock ‘n’ roll with post-modern narrative based storytelling set upon the tense soundscapes of their imagined dream/nightmare world.
All Comments are from Natalie Pryce
Here is our track by track guide:
1. Abigail: The storm is coming. A baby is born, the Internet fails and the whole world ends in this apocalypse drama. This track is the prologue to the album, ushering in a new world of sound by destroying the earth as it is first. Come on in and meet the family…
2. Søren: The Priest, The Clown and The Uncle muse over the heavy questions of the universe over a game of ‘snakes & ladders’ while their fate (and ours) burns all around them. Inspired by the life and ideas of Søren Kierkegaard. This is the hit single of album, a real foot twister, one to shake your body at.
3. Derek Scott: I particularly love the beautiful sound of the tambourine on this one. During the dark night of the soul our song’s protagonist opens up a suicidal wound in his arm that begins to communicate with him. This song is named after a benefactor of Natalie Pryce who donated money towards the making of the album. It’s a cautionary tale.
4. Vaughan: A story of symphorophilia and Ballardesque car-crash sexual fetishism. I’m singing through a 1944 electric megaphone, issued by the Navy Bureau of Ships. The megaphone is 24 inches in diameter and it’s battleship grey. If you want to feel “Federal”, it’s the one for you. For me it was love at first sight. The studio we were recording in is said to be haunted as it was originally owned by an engineer who killed himself by setting fire to the place one night while he was inside. On this tract at one point in the third verse you can hear some EVP. I think it might be the old engineer: I reckon he likes this track.
5. Annabelle: A love triangle between a femme fatale, a romantic hero and an incubus: told from the perspective of the incubus. This song is meant as an antidote to the insipid tales of failed romance where the (usually male) singer is moaning about how their lover has run off with a mysterious and potentially dangerous stranger. It’s a song about a very masculine form of insecurity. The lyrics were improvised live originally and then edited down through intense rehearsals before recording.
6. Frank Sinatra: Singer makes a deal with the devil in this modern adaptation of the Faust myth. I love the cello on this song. International cello master Jackie Baxter played on this one. Her playing sends shivers down my spine. She is one of those people who have a real relationship with her instrument. She’s like a samurai of sound: the cello is her soul. I think this song feels like an electric dream to me.
7. Wilcox: the eponymous protagonist becomes increasingly obsessed with the stories by the mysterious “The Author” but the more he reads the more the tales take on life of their own. This is a song about the power of stories. I believe that the barrier between the world of fiction and the world of reality is porous: things can slip through. All writing is about bringing our thoughts and dreams into the concious world through words. But if a story is really good it doesn’t always stay on the page. Lots of rare instruments were used on this recording including an Indonesian angklung which you can hear me playing right at the end of the track.
8. Sam: A comment on the creative process as the corpse of Samuel Beckett is dragged out for inspection but fails to inspire a song worth singing. This song seems to capture the woozy hypnotic power of insanity; the bliss of madness. Lyrically I think this is a new high for the band. It’s beyond being just about Beckett but instead discusses the anxiety of inspiration. It’s about not finding any kind of influence left to draw from ones heroes because you have already used them all up.
9. Adam: Prequel to the song “Eve” on the previous album. The song documents the events leading up to those in “Eve”, telling the story of justifying the ways of God to man. This song has a truly optimistic outlook. Finding magic in the mundane. The auguries of innocence.
10. Edith: A ghost story discussing the potential trap of marriage and the difficulties of breaking free from one’s own past. In part inspired by the life and works of Edith Wharton. This song is a live favourite. The drums on this one always blow my mind: they mesmerise me. Performing this song always puts me into a trance and I get lost in the story. I try to imagine I am dead every time I sing it. It isn’t easy to do every time but coming back to life at the end of the song is a euphoric feeling.
11. William part 2: This is the second part of the song ‘William’ which is yet to be recorded. It finds our character after he has crossed the threshold of the living and ended up some place beyond our existence. Samuel Joseph Smith plays the 1970s analogue synthesiser on this song. It’s a beautiful instrument. Impossible to get the same sound out of it twice. Luckily Mr Smith nailed in first time.
12. Gretel: A coming of age story told through a series of increasingly deranged letters home to Mother. When we play this one live I sing the lyrics in the original German. It’s the song that is the most like any of the songs on the first album, in that it’s a fairy tale but it is also quite distinct from any of the others as well. I think the magic of this song is in the silence. Like a Francis Bacon painting it is the intense absence of space that make it powerful. What do you see in the darkness? What do you hear in the silence?
13. Miss Liz: A story of lust and money as a woman becomes dangerously infatuated with a prostitute. This is the epilogue to the album, where the whole story ends. Thank you for coming with us on this journey we hope you had a pleasant ride. Join us again next time…