Natasha North is a rising star of the UK’s singer/song-writer scene, working hard to carve a niche all of her own with a striking bunch of songs and a sound that whispers to you irresistibly and draws you in close. I first caught Natasha playing the opening set of a night dedicated mostly to bigger, louder acts at Camden’s Dublin Castle in July 2012. Instead of simply making people talk louder in irritation – as is all too frequently the fate of fragile, heartfelt songs delivered in public – her music elicited from the small crowd a reverent silence as we stopped still to listen. Her stage set artfully incorporates real-time looped violin, harmony vocals, and guitars. I’ve since been back to catch her warm, mesmeric show a few times.

Natasha also plays saxes, piano and accordion, which sneak their way into her recordings. Her current EP Walking on Water (from 2012) is a beautiful and tender collection that asks politely but insistently for you to sit up and pay attention. Natasha describes herself as ‘empathetic’ – a quality that is certainly evident in her songs, which discuss challenging subject matter such as dementia (“An Unfamiliar Face”), fear, uncertainty (“Unknown Answers”), and domestic violence (“Sticks and Stones”). Her lyrics make the listener feel uncomfortable, while her voice and instrumental arrangements help to soothe the troubled soul.

Natasha North is not to be mistaken for a folk singer, positioning herself firmly as a singer/song-writer. Currently her sound is in a similar vein to Laura Veirs or Dar Williams, with influences ranging from Ben Howard and Matt Corby to Billy Joel, Ray Lamontagne and Damien Rice. Future gigs (look out from May 2013!) and Natasha’s next EP (currently in production) will feature the band that she has hand-picked from London’s pool of able, gifted musos. I look forward to an enhanced sound, with – at the heart of it – the voice of an intelligent, pensive young woman striving to find, and inviting us to explore, the ‘Unknown Answers’.

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