Former viral songstress Nataly Dawn recently came by Baeble HQ for a delicate, acoustic session. Having consumed a steady diet of her frenetic Pomplamoose heroics via YouTube over the years, we weren't sure what to expect from a solo-ish effort. We were, however, well aware of her most recent songwriting chops via her debut album, How I Knew Her.
In session, Nataly performed songs of a quiet beauty, forcing our ever-anxious Producer to keep the heavy-footed production crew and a handful of guests at bay so as to prevent from interrupting the delicate execution of Nataly's songs. Even Ryan Lerman's banjo behaved in a dainty yet thoughtful manner. It was a quiet yet thrilling encounter with Nataly in our basement studios, that's finally fit for the public's ravenous consumption. Have at it!
Fine dust falls from steel pipelines Like ashes from a Pharaoh's tomb Shaking off bad luck of babies' dreams That never left the womb Many things are wired To avoid short circuits But not us, for we are Far too human, too human Leslie rides on Ferris wheels Way up in the umbrella clouds She is not afraid of falling Out of favor with the crowds Lord oh Lord please bless her soul And bless her mother Shine your face on us For we are human, too human Do your best little girl and have a little fun Cause life wears you down and takes you for a run Do your best little girl and have a little fun Cause life wears you down and takes you for a run Run run little girl, run run little girl Run run little girl, little girl run run Run run little girl, run run little girl Run run little girl, little girl run run Run, run, oh, oh Leslie rides on Ferris wheels Way up in the umbrella clouds Oh, oh, oh, oh - Your question was about Pomplamoose. So, in the beginning there were our solo projects. And then we decided after a couple of years of dating that we would try collaborating together and so we did Pomplamoose. And Pomplamoose took off which was great. And then, when Pomplamoose was getting really big, it started to not only overshadow our solo careers, but also just kind of take over our lives in a rather unpleasant way. Because it had been something that we really enjoyed doing for fun and suddenly it was becoming all business. And so we decided that in order to preserve our relationship and the band that we would take a couple steps back from it. And so we both started working on our solo projects more intensely. And so for the last two years we've been doing pretty much primarily that and it's been goin' great for both of us. And now we're back to a point where we can imagine being happier reinvesting in Pomplamoose again. So I think it was the right thing to do. - This song is called "I Just Wanted You to Get Old. " I just wanted you to get old Like the army green Volvo and the toys we sold Like the books that you read me and the jokes you told I just wanted you to get old I just wanted you to get old Like vacations in Tahoe and your skiing poles The ones I held onto tightly till you said let go Oh I just wanted you to get old And I'm sorry that I never get around To picking up the phone or staying home I swear to God that I must be the worst person I've found Tell me would it be too late to appreciate you I'm so sorry I'm so sorry Cause I still want you to get old Please forgive me I know it doesn't always show But I'll try to be better if you don't let go Oh I just want you to get old - One of the most challenging songs was actually the one that I played, "I Just Wanted You to Get Old. " I think that was one of the songs where I just ended up sitting in front of my computer for hours and hours at a time and just looking at a blank page and trying to figure out how exactly I wanted to approach the topic of death and losing someone and feeling like you took someone for granted. The lyrics were really what took up the most of my time because melodies and chords tend to come pretty easily to me but actually figuring out what you want to say is quite difficult. I've repeatedly underestimated the fan base that we have on YouTube. I didn't think that it would be possible to make a living solely through MP3 sales and YouTube made that possible. I didn't think that it would be possible to sell out 400 to 600 person venues on our very first tour and that happened. You know, I didn't think that I'd be able to raise $80,000 for my album and I raised over $100,000 for it. So really, that fan base has repeatedly proven that they are not just in it for, you know, the one-hit wonder, the "Single Ladies" cover, the "September" cover, the Michael Jackson cover. They're not in it for that. They're in it for the long haul, which is really encouraging. Welcome to Movie Talk with Nataly Dawn. What's your favorite film? This song is called "Please Don't Scream. " Did you-- - Nope, wrong words. Whomp-whomp. All right. Can we do that again or do you need to clap? No, still rolling-- - We're good? Still rolling? Okay. Because everything before that, all the stuff before that, that was gold. - Yeah. This song is called "Please Don't Scream. " I remember quite well The first time I took you home We were so young I didn't think much of you Sure you were cute and full of tricks And a whole lot brighter than a guinea pig But I didn't think much of you back then And I think you loved me first Cause it sure took me a while To figure out That you were kinda special But now you're old and full of ticks And you yell at everybody just for kicks And I wish that you would just shut up Why do you scream at me Why do you scream I don't know why you have to do that Cause things don't seem All that bad to me Oh I'm beggin' you please Baby please don't scream Do you remember that old cat Who beat you up so bad That you wouldn't make it I almost couldn't take it But now you're mean and paranoid There's not a piece of this house that you haven't destroyed And I wish that you would just shut up. Why do you scream at me Why do you scream I don't know why you have to do that Cause things don't seem All that bad to me Oh I'm beggin' you please Baby please don't scream Oh, oh, ah, ah Oh I'm beggin' you please Baby please don't scream You know I've loved a lot of men And moved far away from them And I hate to say it But you're my oldest friend And I'm glad you're around Cause you still know how to make my favorite sound But then I wish that you would just shut up Why do you scream at me Why do you scream I don't know why you have to do that Cause things don't seem All that bad to me Oh I'm beggin' you please Baby please don't scream it's funny, I wasn't planning on being a musician. It didn't seem like a responsible thing to do. My parents were not the type of parents who can just support you for the rest of your life, so I figured it's important for me to be able to make a living. And I didn't think that would be possible by being a musician, because it usually isn't possible but it actually was possible, which was wonderful. There's gonna be a lot of touring going on this year. There actually already has been a lot of touring this year. And also because of being on the road so much and the frequent misery that goes along with that I've been writing a lot, too. It's funny, this shows that I'm used to being on the road, I grew up on the road, my parents were missionaries so we traveled a lot. The shows are really great but they're often sandwiched in between less fun stuff and in those less fun periods I find myself writing a whole bunch. So I'm looking forward to not just touring but also writing more, releasing more, and hopefully even doing something with Pomplamoose. This is Nataly Dawn, and you are watching Baeblemusic.
Nataly Dawn will play SXSW before embarking on a spring headline tour across the U.S. beginning March 18 at The Walnut Room in Denver. The label debut How I Knew Her by the California-based singer/songwriterknown as half of the duo Pomplamoose, whose songs have had nearly 87,000,000 million views on YouTubewas just released by Nonesuch Records. Please see full list of tour dates below.
Mojo, Independent on Sunday, and The Daily Telegraph in the UK give the album four stars while BBC Music says "How I Knew Her is less an album to yield all its myriad charms instantly, more one to slow-drip its way to adoration. Dawn has the intelligence to sway the cognoscenti, the wide-eyed charm to seduce the masses, and an otherworldliness that ensures that, for all those she embraces, nobody sounds quite like her." The Chicago Tribune says, "How I Knew Her is a collection of self-penned, introspective, semi-autobiographical songs, sung in a voice that is strong yet intimate, alternately confessional and conversational."
How I Knew Her was produced by her longtime partner Jack Conte and recorded with a group of accomplished musicians at Prairie Sun Studios in Cotati, CAwhere many of her favorite Tom Waits albums were made. It was recorded in one room with a full band that included Ryan Lerman (Ben Folds, A Fine Frenzy) on electric guitar, mandolin, banjo, and acoustic guitar; David Piltch (k.d. lang, Bill Frisell, Bonnie Raitt) on upright bass; Louis Cole (Louis and Genevieve, Pomplamoose); and Matt Chamberlain (Brad Mehldau, Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Jon Brion) on drums. Oz Fritz engineered the album with Conte; the album was then mixed by Mike Mogis and mastered by Bob Ludwig.
The How I Knew Her sessions were filmed and will periodically be released as companion videos with tracks already viewable on Dawns YouTube channel, which has 106,903 subscribers. (Pomplamooses YouTube channel has 356,810 subscribers.) Before coming to Nonesuch, Dawn raised more than $100,000 via Kickstarter to make How I Knew Her.
The daughter of missionaries, Dawn spent much of her childhood in Europe, where she attended Lyces Franais in France and Belgium before returning to the U.S. to study art and French literature at Stanford University. It was there that she met Conte and formed Pomplamoose, eventually performing, recording and editing songs and videos entirely on their own in their Northern California home. Their first upload to YouTube was an original collaboration, "Hail Mary," which was featured on the YouTube homepage.
In 2010 the duo began releasing creative covers of pop songs such as Beyoncs "Single Ladies" and Lady Gagas "Telephone" which grew their fanbase even further. Pomplamoose played 20 live dates in 2011 to sold-out audiences across the U.S.
In 2010 Pomplamoose released its first compilation of original songs with lyrics by Dawn entitled Pomplamoose VideoSongs, as well as an album of covers titled Tribute to Famous People. That same year, the duo also released The Holiday EP, in conjunction with Amazon.com, as an incentive for a charity book drive, raising more than $130,000 in books for the Richmond, CA school system. Pomplamooses music can also be heard in a series of national television spots for Hyundai and Toyota. Nataly Dawns previous solo album, 2009s Her Earlier Stuff, was a compilation of 12 songs that she had put up on YouTube over the course of the previous two years.