Natalie Carolan on putting the pieces together for her new EP

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Natalie Carolan on putting the pieces together for her new EP


Listening to Natalie Carolan’s new self-titled EP will induce a pensive – bordering on melancholic – state. It’s amazing when an up-and-coming artist has that kind of impact from the word go.

Having never heard her music, nor ever having spoken to the singer-songwriter before, it’s not quite the emotive response Carolan was aiming for, but it’s teetering on the cusp of her intentions.

“I’m not only thinking about a desired outcome when I’m writing,” she says. “What I appreciate when I listen to music is feeling something – whether it’s really wanting to dance, feeling joyful, sadness, I want to feel something.”

Naturally, music means different things to different people, particularly the artist and the listener. This collection of songs paints a picture of the real Carolan, all with a different meaning which she begins to speak about with a heavy pause. “All but one have represented a pretty strong emotional response. ‘Into Myself’ is probably the exception, where it just sort of happened in a state of flow.

“I had no preconceived idea, no really intense outpouring, whereas the others, there’s pretty intense emotion behind them, but that’s not always the case when I write. It’s definitely easier to write when you are feeling something very deeply, whatever that emotion might be.”

Carolan has spoken of her EP as a “divine cleansing ritual” and indeed, there is something very spiritual to be taken from this music, a cathartic experience to be writing and performing in this style of indie-folk. “I guess it is a release,” she says. “There’s something indescribable when I write this music, even if I sing it in my bedroom. It sounds cliché but it does take you somewhere else. I’m very lucky to be able to do this and have this skill I’ve worked on. It is indescribable and special.”

Three years since the release of her last EP, Carolan’s music has been taking her to new places. She spent some time working on a separate album, I Sleep, which was launched at the Melbourne Recital Centre in 2016 alongside Christian Meyer, Luke Howard and Leonard Grigoryan. Shortly after this release, Natalie Carolan supported Katie Noonan at her Melbourne show at The Flying Saucer Club. “At the time I was feeling quite ambitious and I wanted to do everything,” she says. “It really doesn’t work that way – things take time and music-making is very expensive. 

“The simple thing was to release the EP straight away, but I got caught up in the album and recorded that with Christian Meyer and Leonard Grigoryan, launching it alongside them. I’m glad I did it like that and I’m glad I’m now able to release the EP as well.”

Carolan delivers four tracks on this self-titled release. Four tracks which are like a decadent cake – rich, filling and like you don’t need more than what you’re given, because there’s so much happening without being too dense. Each song is well-rounded, concise and beautiful, with Carolan producing her best work, giving it all or nothing – otherwise, it’s just not worth it. “I didn’t want to put fillers in,” she says. “The other part of this story is that I’ve been working on the next project – it’s very different in sound. I really wanted to wrap this little puzzle piece up and have it there in its own little world.

“I tried hard on every track and it was definitely a very picky process, I guess you could say.”

However, Carolan gives the impression that we are yet to see the bigger picture in the puzzle’s completion. “My feeling is that when you’re a creative person, you’re always developing and changing. I think there will always be a lot of puzzle pieces that make up someone’s creative life, and this is just one of them for me.”