Track by Track Exclusive: Natalie McCool – Cover Combat

Natalie McCool

Track by Track Exclusive

Words: Elena Katrina

Liverpool based singer songwriter Natalie McCool has been a firm favourite here at Popped Music HQ and it’s not just us who has been won over with her sparkling clear vocal and spectacular ability to create intelligent pop-lead stories, there’s a whole army of fans growing across the UK and rightly so.

For this track by track we asked Natalie if she’d talk us through her latest pre-tour video idea and explain to us, and you, the where’s and why’s.

Find Natalie McCool on Facebook



Tickets on sale now HERE.

“So my idea with the Cover Combat was to get a bit of word out about my tour, which starts next week and visits 8 different UK cities. I thought it would be great to get people to shout about their city or their favourite band. So the idea of a cover combat was born! I took the 8 cities and chose 8 bands / artists from each city, matching them to their city. Then I put them into rounds (2 cities / bands per round) which resulted in 4 rounds. Still with me? 😉

I thought it would be great to get those people in those cities voting for their city, or anyone else voting just for their favourite band out of the two. Matching our love of music and our pride of where we’re from!

With each Round I would post the poll to both Facebook and Twitter and let them battle it out. Whichever city / band won each round I would do a cover of one of their songs. The songs I chose were a mixture of personal choice and requests. I’ll list the winners below and my choices and reasons behind them:

Round 1

Clean Cut Kid LIVERPOOL vs Everything Everything MANCHESTER

Winners: Clean Cut Kid LIVERPOOL.

“As I know the band I first heard their track Vitamin C when Mike played it to me after demoing it in the studio. I actually said to him ‘that will be on the Radio 1 playlist’ – it was so good! I still love it, so I had to cover it. I absolutely love the guitar riff, it’s super, super catchy and also the bridge in the song is sublime. So I got creative with my delay/warp pedal on this part.”

Watch Natalie cover Vitamin C by Clean Cut Kid here:


Round 2

AlunaGeorge LONDON vs Alt J LEEDS

Winners: Alt-J LEEDS.

“I’ll admit I was excited if a little nervous at the outcome of this vote. I love Alt-J but they are so intricate and unique using lots of different sounds and timbres on their recordings, I was unsure of where to start covering any of their songs! Although a firm lover of their 1st album I decided to go with Left Hand Free – because of (again) the guitar riff. It’s so satisfying to play. Also with the chorus vocals I decided to rock them up a bit and really belt it out. So much fun to play & sing.”

Watch Natalie cover Left Hand Free by Alt-J here:

Round 3

Massive Attack BRISTOL vs Friendly Fires ST ALBANS

Winners: Massive Attack BRISTOL.
“Instantly knew what I was going to cover – Teardrop. Yeah yeah it’s the most famous song of theirs and some may think it’s a bit of a cop out to cover from a creative view – but they don’t understand just how much I love the vocalist on that track, Elizabeth Fraser. She sings in Cocteau Twins, one of my all time favourite bands and huge influences. So that was a big attraction for me. But it gets more special. The heart of the song is about one of my other huge influences Jeff Buckley. Fraser was in the studio recording the vocals when she found out her friend (Buckley) had died. So naturally all of those emotions about him went into the recording of the vocals which I think is so special. It’s a beautiful vocal and the track is hypnotic. I used my Digitech Whammy 5 to get a kind of harpsichordy feel to the guitar, and also used my delay/warp pedal for the really atmospheric/electronic parts of the song. So there you go.”

Watch Natalie cover Teardrop by Massive Attack here:

Round 4

Winners: Little Mix NEWCASTLE.

“Ok wow. I love pop music and love a few of Little Mix’s tracks, but it is really, really pop. How am I gonna put my own stamp on this with just a guitar and my voice? First of all I had to choose the right track. Luckily the hordes of Little Mix fans on Twitter (Little Mixers) were more than willing to tweet their suggestions at me. After about a thousand replies I decided to do a poll on Twitter specifically to choose between the two most popular requests – Touch (which I LOVE) and another song I hadn’t heard before No More Sad Songs. Naturally I wanted to do Touch, but NMSS won the poll by a decided 65%. I listened to it and actually really liked it. It’s a bit of a more chilled one with a dancehall beat, like Touch. So back to putting my own stamp on it. Getting my Whammy 5 and delay/warp pedal out again I wanted to make the verses really atmospheric and electronic and the choruses really rhythmic. So I wavered in between using all the guitar effects to create something electronic, to playing the guitar just like a guitar. Ha!”

Watch Natalie cover No More Sad Songs by Little Mix here:







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  • About Popped Music

    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

    All articles written by Elena Katrina unless otherwise stated.

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