Twenty Eight year old, Californian singer songwriter Natalie Mering throws back to a psychy-folk feel of the sixties, with a Gallic touch thrown in there for good measure…but then she doesn’t at the same time.
She has one hell of a voice without sounding twee or as if she is mimicking those singers of the past and she never feels as if she is trying overly hard despite hitting some pretty spectacular notes.
Front Row Seat To Earth is an epic record that is deceptive in its simplicity… it really is superbly recorded and the songs each build from humble beginnings to spectacular, and yet never overdone endings…case in point being Do You Need My Love.
Generation Why has an oddly ethereal and weirdly affected opening note sung by Mering which then fades into a most beautiful vocal and simple instrumentation that makes up the rest of the song…I’m reminded a tad of Cocteau Twins.
Front row Seat To earth is a difficult record to pigeon hole and that’s a good thing. Mering’s phrasing is definitely in the folk tradition, but the music and the presentation feel both ancient and thoroughly up to date at the same time which is quite something. Yes, there are lots of acoustic instruments used here, but there is also a sense of modernity even on the more overtly folky numbers like Away Above.
Front Row Seat To Earth ends with the mostly instrumental and very disconcerting Front Row Seat, and whilst this seems a pretty odd way to end such a gorgeous record but the opening tune Diary and this bookend the album really nicely.
I sort of didn’t want to like this record but ended up loving it!