We love Natalie McCool – and her new single, Dust and Coal seals the deal for us (you can get it here). A great end to a great year – a year that’s seen McCool’s smart, hook-laden tunes receive airplay on 6Music, Radio 2 and beyond, and assured performances on the festival circuit. We caught up with the Widnes one to talk finely crafted pop-smithery and plans for 2013.

Tell us about how your year’s gone?

Really great, 2012 started off for me with the release of a single called ‘Fortune’, released on London indie label Hubris Records, the track received quite a number of plays on BBC Radio 2 & 6 Music. Then me and my band recorded a live session covering a song called Nightcall from the cult movie Drive, the session was filmed too, and the video has racked up over 130,000 views on YouTube so far!

Come summer I released a track called Thin Air, featuring a lead guitar solo from the one and only Bernard Butler, the track had quite a lot of regional and national radio play. I also did a live session for Ruth Barnes on Amazing Radio, and then in October played in Hyde Park to my biggest audience yet, over 100,000 people, at an event called ‘A Future That Works’. So it’s been a pretty amazing year! I have really enjoyed it, and here’s to next year being even more amazing…

Plans for 2013?

Dust & Coal is a track from my forthcoming debut album which will be released in early 2013, I have a few things in the bag for that which I won’t reveal right now, but they are going to be pretty exciting!

What about Dust and Coal – where’s your inspiration coming from these days?

I’ve always enjoyed playing guitar and used to play lead in a couple of bands before I began singing and writing my own songs. Dust & Coal is a track essentially based around the guitar part, because interesting guitar-playing really inspires me!

My all-time favourite artists are PJ Harvey & Jeff Buckley, though when I was quite young I used to listen to Radiohead, Placebo & Gomez a lot, which on reflection really shaped my musical taste. In those days I used to listen to pretty much whatever my older sisters were listening to!

Currently I’m enjoying: Grimes, Lianne La Havas, Lucy Rose, Bon Iver, Jesca Hoop, and Yukimi Nagano from Little Dragon, her voice is easily the best I’ve ever heard live so far. For a long time I was really in to Deftones and I think I still am…bit of a mixed bag there!

When are you next playing?

A single & album launch early 2013 in Liverpool is in the pipeline, so keep an eye on my website and Facebook page for news of that!


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