Remember When Music gave you chills?
It’s a cool, cloudy morning in February of 2020; musician Natalie Price’s latest arrangement-- a whimsical love story titled “The Island” -- has just gone live on NPR’s music blog. In the video, shot within her north Austin home, the Dallas-born songstress weaves this sprawling audial daydream on nothing more than her trusty Kalimba (a miniature, plucked piano she’s outfitted with a guitar pickup). You’re my sunshine, my refuge, my peace in the storm,” she sings, her voice weaving around the sparse melody like a vine, “You’re the reason I’m seein’ stars I’ve never seen before...”
Maybe it’s the nostalgic innocence of the love story she’s singing, or the subtle heartbreak anchoring her soulful crooning; but as she rounds back to her final chorus, one thing is clear:
Intoxicatingly authentic and wholly original – you’ll never forget the first time you stepped into Natalie Price’s world.
Described once by a Texas Music Magazine writer as “one of the Austin singer-songwriter scene’s most dynamic new talents”, the young artist’s ethereal, one-of-a-kind sound refuses to fall neatly into one category. Just as comfortable dabbling in Americana or folk as she is indie-pop, Natalie Price’s music is perhaps best encapsulated by its deep-seated humanity. ``Each of her songs takes you on this journey,” says Noëlle Hampton, Price’s backup vocalist and singer/guitarist for Austin rock outfit, The Belle Sounds, “they capture not one emotion, but many -- [reflecting] what the listener needs to feel.”
Unsurprising for an artist of her caliber, Price recognized songwriting as her raison d’etre from a young age, even after her parents forbade her from chasing a musical dream.“I just couldn’t turn off the melodies in my head” says Price, “ When they told me to ‘say goodbye to that dream,’ I really did try - I ran into another room and sobbed my eyes out and journaled. That turned into me writing a song because it was instinctually the only way I knew how to express those feelings.”
Raised in a strict, religious, less-than-musical household, Price’s songwriting experience was largely self-taught out of necessity, resulting in the undiluted, pure love of the craft that’s baked into every melody she writes. The harmonies her grandmother sang in church, the catharsis she’d find scribbling lyrics in her primary school journal, the awe-inspiring power of compositions like “Amazing Grace” -- these formative memories continue to guide Price long after she’s taken ownership of her own life story. “She's following her own songwriting compass'' says Austin based folk-singer Grace Pettis, “[she’s] not influenced by what anybody else is doing, or some self-conscious idea of what she’s ‘supposed to do’ -- those kinds of elements are exciting to hear.”
Price’s journey thus far can be experienced via her debut EP, Through the Fog (2019). Written between 2012 and 2018, this five-song, ‘best-of’ collection presents a snapshot of Price’s move to Austin and the nights she spent honing her craft at local open mics and listing rooms. A remarkable mosaic of love, regret, and hope, Through the Fog’s l ush compositions and masterful producing (courtesy of engineer Brian Douglas Phillips) demand to be experienced in one sitting, with the best pair of headphones one has available. “It’s the kind of EP that gets into your blood.” says Hampton, “Natalie’s poetry, her prose, everything just comes together so perfectly".
Today, Natalie Price’s journey continues. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook for her latest updates and releases, and access her archive of performances and recordings via her YouTube channel. As Natalie works toward her eagerly awaited sophomore release, why not revisit Through the Fog or -- better yet -- experience this landmark debut the first time? As the record’s pedal steel mixes with her warm vocals and knock-out melodies -- one can’t keep from falling in love with Natalie Price’s music again and again.