By Vee D
Hailing from Gloucester but currently based in Bristol, Natalie Oaks is making her remarkable debut with the delicate and spellbinding Keeping Up Appearances. With influence coming from a wide array of genres including Hip-Hop, R&B, Neo-Soul, and Lo-Fidelity, Oaks’ first release is a beautiful melting pot of rhythmic melodies and sublime vocals.
The mellow and relaxed soundscape is present from the very beginning of the opening track, ‘Contraband’. The delicate lo-fi electronic ambiance allows for the soft and almost sultry vocals to shine through. Next up is the more subdued but just as emotive One of A Kind. Stealing the show entirely is Poison Ivy with its stunning R&B-infused beats and dynamic flow. Closing off the EP is the anthemic Eden with its soaring melodies, subtle Lo-Fi brass percussion, and engaging beats.
“The EP was written at a time full of confusion and desperation. 2020 was tough and it meant that I spent a lot of time in my own head, trying to understand how I felt about so many things that usually went on in my life. From unhealthy obsessions to daydreams.” Natalie Oaks shared, “the stories I tell, although seemingly uncomplicated, navigate those moments of self-reflection we all experience when we get a moment to step back from the chaos. Keeping Up Appearances is a snapshot of my search for clarity… whilst trying to do it with style.”
Brought up surrounded by music, Natalie Oaks’ love of songwriting started at the young age of 10. Taking inspiration from the earnestness of Loyle Carner, the flawless lyricism of Frank Ocean, and Lauren Hill’s flow. The latter of which being the match that ignited the passion for a career in music with her 1998 release The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
Having only just embarked on her musical journey with Keeping Up With Appearances, it is clear to see that Natalie Oaks has a truly exceptional career ahead of her.