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Natas Loves You – The 8th Continent

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Fellow lovers of good pop music, rejoice! Seven months and three days following the release of the Skip Stones EP that whet our appetite for more, the Paris-dwelling outfit Natas Loves You came out with their debut LP entitled The 8th Continent. To begin with, it is safe to say that the past two years have been fruitful for the five-piece band. Their lush indie pop/rock has been met with increasing popularity and they’ve had the opportunity to work with reputable people, like Chris Zane who produced their album and none other than Larry Clark who directed the video for their most recent single Got To Belong, and I have a feeling that we will watch this quintet skyrocket even further.

After the delightful foretaste that was Skip Stones, I was expecting 40 minutes of good vibrations with some profound and philosophical touches from the LP, and that’s exactly what I got. Natas Loves You have a knack for catchy melodies and lyrics that are irresistible to dance and sing along to, so unsurprisingly their 8th Continent is fraught with accessible and upbeat compositions that float somewhere between soulful pop, disco and psychedelia. In addition to the four tunes featured on Skip Stones, they delivered seven more songs that all have single potential and could stand comfortably on their own outside of the context of the album. Even so, there is a thread that runs through The 8th Continent that connects the songs and makes the overall recording an entity in and of itself as opposed to just a collection of individual songs: the whole is dunked in an airy, dream-like quality and there are recurring themes of feeling lost and disconnected, finding your place, and, of course, love and sensuality.

The album features a series of songs that could be interpreted as anthems for a lost or emotionally degenerate youth, most notably Got To Belong, Game Of Tribes and Go Or Linger. Got To Belong has decidedly motivational lyrics and evokes that euphoric “fist in the air” kind of feeling, the other two tracks seem more about catharsis and venting frustrations whilst still retaining an energetic, uplifting tone. One of the music’s defining characteristics are the three vocalists who do a lot of harmonising and take turns with the lead, which contributes to the infectious dynamic of the songs. Natas Loves You definitely isn’t the band to turn to if you’re looking for mopey and melancholia-laden music — even when tackling somewhat sombre topics, they seem to be dedicated to releasing positive energy out into the world first and foremost. You can take away a sense of hope or inspiration from every part of this sonic journey.

Natas Loves You have an active online presence on Facebook, an official website you can lurk, a couple of sweet videos up on YouTube including the one I embedded below, and The 8th Continent is available to stream for free on Spotify. If you dig what you hear, you are welcome to support the band financially by buying the album off iTunes. Enjoy and God bless!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEO2MMah8zM]

Natas Loves You – Skip Stones

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Natas Loves You is a five-man band residing in Paris. Their musical origins go back to Luxembourg, where four of them met and started what would eventually become their most ambitious project. On the 10th of March, the “pop stellaire” collective released their third EP entitled Skip Stones, which marks an important milestone in their promising career.

The opening and title track leaves no question as to what Natas Loves You’s mission is: the quintet wants to make us dance, or at least encourage toe-wiggling in the reluctant dancers among us. The breezy tune sets the mood for the impending summer days and comes with a fun video clip that is reminiscent of Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited. I would loosely describe their sound as synth-heavy rock with a slight retro flair that they preserved from their early days and that comes out particularly clearly in the remaster of an older song called Scarlett Brown. Zeppelins is another song I remember vividly in its previous version and that I might enjoy even more now that it’s been reshaped into an ocean of groovy psychedelic delight.

Go Or Linger stands out in the small collection as a song with a decidedly pensive streak. It’s still dancehall-worthy, but in an apocalyptic-mood type of way: when played at the right part of the night, it would probably get you in that zone where you pretend to dance your soul out without any inhibitions one last time before the world ends. The highly singalong-friendly lyrics portray a sense of feeling lost that hits home with most millennials. I generally consider the songwriting to be one of the band’s strengths and commend their knack for simple, yet poignant compositions of words.

In conclusion, this release shows that the guys of Natas Loves You have polished their sound to a shiny finish and carved out their own niche along the way. The harmonies, jiggy rhythms and dreamy soundscapes make for good, organic pop music with a distinctive factor that sets the band apart from other indie pop/rock acts currently floating around the musicsphere.

If you enjoy the juicy four-track EP (which is available on iTunes for 2,99 €), you’ll be excited to hear that it’s a teaser for the first full-length Natas release due later this year: The 8th Continent is a concept album produced by Chris Zane, who’s worked with bands like Passion Pit, Holy Ghost!, Friendly Fires and many others. In the meantime, you can keep up with the boys on Facebook and watch the video for Skip Stones below.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsQXnxzD0j8]