In Review: Natalie Wildgoose - 'You'

The jazz crooner's debut single is a sumptuous love song that borrows from the romantic refrains of Cocteau Twins' Elizabeth Fraser and the folk traditions of Karen Dalton. It's crooning done right.
Posted: 1 April 2021 Words: Miles Ellingham

Aside from her spot on Ruf Dug’s The Committee, ‘You’ is Natalie Wildgoose’s first ever release – and she’s come out swinging. ‘You’ is a rare gem, and stands out from the drudgery of contemporary dream-pop inheritors.

At its heart, ‘You’ is a love song, and a sumptuous one at that. It builds a feeling that expands across the track and comes in slow. Wildgoose’s vocals are restrained but commanding, emotional without melodrama, and aren’t afraid to embellish in key parts. The song rolls along as Wildgoose gently confesses the weight of her love for ‘You’ – a mysterious recipient at the centre of things. It’s tough to nail a love song like this, particularly from a female perspective. Society expects a certain demeanour from women in the music industry, making it difficult for them to write songs about basic, emotional states like love without falling headlong into an abyss of sexist clichés. Natalie Wildgoose, however, avoids the abyss expertly, and does so by keeping her music sounding sincere. 

‘You’ is crooning done right. Borrowing from the romantic refrains of Elizabeth Fraser as well as the folk traditions of singers like Karen Dalton, Wildgoose and her band cultivate a sound that’s thick with daydreams and carries the listener along with it. In the playful manoeuvrings of the single, Wildgoose demonstrates a deep understanding of jazz – an art form she has a longstanding affinity for and that she’s currently studying at a conservatoire. There’s also an incredible slowness to ‘You’; the song hinges around a single echoed word, one that, in a zen sort of way, becomes decidedly difficult to shake from your head. For a debut single, ‘You’ puts Natalie Wildgoose in great stead; demonstrating talent, poise, and ability. It’s deeply immersive and catchy too. Hopefully, there’s more in the works.

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