Natalie Slade is ready to join the growing number of Australian artists whose musical styles and skills have garnered global attention. The Sydney-based vocalist has released a stunning debut LP, Control, on Eglo Records that showcases the burgeoning vitality of the Australian music community and proves that Slade absolutely deserves mention among the country’s finest. While her gliding vocal style will captivate listeners, the album is also boosted by fiery live instrumentation and brilliant production from Simon Mavin of Hiatus Kaiyote.
Slade blasts out of the gates with the album’s first track, “Cloud Cover,” a propulsive song that will immediately get listeners moving. Over pulsing rhythms and a bubbling synth bass line, Slade makes her mark with buttery delivery in the lead vocals that is joined by heavenly background harmonies throughout the arrangement. The song is a fitting introduction to the album with its amalgamation of eclectic influences that progressive Australian musicians have become known for, establishing an underlying theme on the LP of music that is equally enjoyable to listen in headphones or on a dance floor.
Control is an impressive debut from Slade not only from the abundant musicality on display throughout, but also because of the range of styles over the ten tracks. With Slade’s vocals as the common thread, the album pushes the boundaries of style, exploring aggressive, electronic sounds on tracks like “Control” and “Gimme Ya Love,” as well as more laid back, emotive energies on “Humidity,” “Letter To Myself,” and “I Won’t Cry.” All the while, there are other tracks that stretch the music further like the afrobeat-tinged banger, “Love Light,” and the engrossing, meditative energy on “There Is Light in Everything.”
It’s already well known that the Australian music community is bursting with talent, but what’s even more impressive is that with each new release to come out from artists like Slade, the music is stretched into fascinating new directions with a seemingly endless fountain of creative energy. From its first moments, Natalie Slade’s Control proves that it belongs in this incredibly fruitful musical family whose reach should continue to grow around the world.