Natalie Lurie, a classically-trained pop harpist, has worked on expanding the harp outside of its classical genre for a while. She’s collaborated with Emily West, from America’s Got Talent, and has released not only covers but also original songs. Most recently, Natalie has self-released her debut EP, No Mercy In The Night.
The album kicks off with the title track, which immediately blew away any and all expectations that I had for Natalie’s sound. I’ve had the song on repeat for days. It’s soft and haunting, and more fast-paced than I expected it to be. The celestial-sounding vocals are silky and smooth, accentuating the delicate harp in the background. With an ethereal-yet-familiar sound that’s almost reminiscent of warm summer nights sitting in the grass with people that you love, the EP is off to a stellar start. Next is Build It Up, starting off with a different feeling even in the first thirty seconds. The soft, sweet instrumental features vocals that are less ethereal and more solid, but equally as emotionally-charged. The foggy-feeling vocals are highlighted when the instrumentals drop out during the chorus, sounding eerily similar to a lullaby. The third song, I Was Gold, is swift and fluid, with vocals that sound vaguely as if you’re underwater and hearing them come from above the surface. The instrumentals are slightly more harsh, but the vocals are soft around the edges again, balancing it out with gentle golden sunset tones. The last two minutes, which focus on the harp, are otherworldly, light, and fluffy, and melt in your mouth almost like cotton candy or whipped cream. Finally, the EP comes to a close with Great Unknown, a not-as-intense harp-focused song that’s more along the lines of what I expected when I first heard the words “pop harpist”. The song is still as gentle, delicate, and soft as the rest of the album, though, as Natalie shows off her talented falsetto.
This album blew all of my expectations out of the water. It’s otherworldly, yet grounding, and is sweet, soft, delicate, and gentle. Natalie has really outdone herself in her debut EP, and I can’t wait to see where she goes next. The genre of “pop harpist” is certainly a unique one, and Natalie has managed to create an album that’s familiar, yet ethereal.
Originally published on Indientry on July 4, 2016.