Interview: Natalie McCool

Natalie McCool

Words: Gary Lambert

Photos: Gaz Jones

DL9Ek1wjAsIauVG3VH9WCb7R-CWZ_iOhZ_Fz4Yj2WCs Just a few short hours before Natalie McCool went on stage at the launch night for her new single, the absolutely brilliant Cardiac Arrest, we were lucky enough to spend some time with her and find out how 2015 has gone for her and what is in store for 2016. Natalie was excited for this gig, not just for the launch but in her words “I am looking forward to playing Liverpool as I feel like I haven’t done that for a while. I have been playing in London, Manchester, Glasgow and Leeds. But not Liverpool”.


“Overall 2015 has been a lot of hard work. I have been busy all the time and to be honest I am hoping that next year is really going to see the fruits of my labours. I did a BBC Introducing session last week which was awesome. A deffo highlight was playing with Sound City at Zandari Festa in South Korea. You just cannot imagine how good that was. I have a lot to thank the guys at Sound City for in giving me slots to play here and that chance the first time they have gone over. On top of all that I have also played festivals on my own and with D R O H N E , it’s been a pretty great year for me.”


“What I am proudest of so far in my career is getting my first play on Radio One. That felt like a massive thing. I was so happy when Huw Stephens dropped my song on his show. I bumped into Huw at Festival Number Six a few weeks ago and we were talking about that and I told him to give Cardiac Arrest a spin too. There is something else I have been told about that I am so proud of, but I can’t announce that until the people I am doing it with announce it”. As big fans of Natalie, we at Popped Towers cannot wait for this announcement too if her sense of excitement is anything to go by.


natalie mccool copyright gaz jonesIn the last few weeks, Natalie has been working with Liverpool’s famed Sense of Sound choir on some additional work on her forthcoming single Fortress at Parr Street studio. Having heard Fortress later that evening with some backing from the audience I cannot wait to hear this version of it. “We went back to Parr Street Studios to put a choir on it, so to get to do it with Sense of Sound was amazing”. The way Natalie said “put a choir on it” in casual, cool northern tones made me think that this would be a great musical trend and far more exciting than when we were told to “put a bonk on it” a few short years ago.


With the Sense of Sound work in the bag and a history of collaborating with various artists, what else would Natalie like to do? The answer might surprise you. It did me. “I would love to work with someone to do a full on pop number. A lot of the work I have collaborated on has been in dance or quite arty and alternative; so I would really like to go the other way and do something incredibly mainstream. I think the act I have listened to most this summer has been The Weekend”.


This is going to be the next single and will hopefully come out in early 2016 as the lead up to Natalie’s latest album grows in earnest. So far only Cardiac Arrest has been available to purchase, but everything is ready. “The album is done. In fact, it was done in April and is waiting for the right time. It is also subject to change as everything always is”. With her mix of art and pop there is one venue close to my heart that I have always thought Natalie would sound perfect at and with no prompting she said “I want to play festivals, anywhere that will have me, but oh I want to play Glastonbury so bad. I wouldn’t camp though. That’s not for me. I need a camper van or a hotel”. I have no doubt that she would nail any slot on that most prestigious of festivals and she would suit the modern, savvy version so well.

natalie McCool Photo Gaz Jones

Natalie is also the star of Popped Music’s Christmas Charity Party which takes place at Evil Eye Burrito Bar on Smithdown Road in Liverpool on 5th December. With performances, DJs, a continuous special offer of a burrito and a beer for £7.50 this is going to be a night worth turning up to. If you are very lucky the North Pole’s most famous resident might just pop along to drop some tunes and throw some moves. With donations going to MIND too this might help get the odd Popped Music reader off the Naughty List. And if you’re on the Nice list, don’t worry Father Christmas says that misbehaviour on this night does not count. So make sure you come along, celebrate a great year of music and watch Natalie McCool bring it! After all, you know how much she loves hometown shows and this one promises to be a little different.


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