Things dad's never say: "Why don't you focus on the band?". Except, that's precisely the advice sometimes Pomplamoose member and current Kickerstarter darling Nataly Dawn's father exposed to her after graduation, even though one is not supposed to make a living at being a musician. But Nataly's been more than a little resourceful over the years, breaking through the endless fuzz of YouTube with her former band and crowdsourcing the funds to help start a magnificent solo career. I guess she's kind of like Amanda Palmer in that regard, except we like her...like a lot! And so should you. Find out a little more about her amazing story in this extended interview from our recent session with Nataly.
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.