1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Beach Girl – Natalia

Natalia

Natalia

There is something Joni Mitchell-ish about this song from young (she claims to be sixteen in the song) Capetownian singer Natalia. This is a slightly strange comparison to make especially if you remember Natalia from her short-lived punk band Janie Jones. But on this solo effort, it’s just Natalia, her voice and her guitar, something that Mitchell would have done. And the best thing is that on ‘Beach Girl’ Natalia’s voice is not nearly as irritating as Mitchell’s. Having now probably blasphemed in the eyes of ardent Mitchell fans, I will say that Mitchell does have a great voice, but I can only handle it in small doses. On ‘Beach Girl’, Natalia employs a sweet, innocent girl voice to coincide with the lyric ‘Because he’s 25 and I ain’t even 16 yet.’ (I wonder what her father thought of this one?) and it works well.

The song is about a young beach girl falling for an older waiter and contains all the dreaminess that one associated with a young girl in love. However, despite this seemingly twee subject matter, Natalia injects a maturity into her pure vocals and the plucked guitar can surely not come from one so young. This prevents ‘Beach Girl’ from becoming seaside candyfloss and makes it sound more like a good chardonnay sipped on Clifton Beach on a Sunday arvie.

Where to find it:
Long Street Lullabies – Natalia (2007), Indie Release

Ugly – Natalia

Ugly – Natalia

Natalia

Natalia


Cape Townian girl, Natalia first appeared on the  scene in the early ’00s. She fronted Janie Jones (who took their name from a song by The Clash about a singer who also became known as a madame in London) and had a hit on the SA Rock Digest Charts with the punky ‘Go F*ck Youself’. Her solo material is not quite as punk orientated as that of Janie Jones, but there is still an edge and attitude to her material.

‘Ugly’ vacillates between beautiful, almost classical, guitar refrains and hard hitting choruses. Natalia’s voice also has a duality to it. At times she sounds like a vulnerable girl, but can inject her vocals with a venom that says don’t mess with me. The song also made the SA Rock Digest Charts getting to number 3 and spent 13 weeks on the chart.

Where to find it:
Long Street Lullabies – Natalia (2007), Indie Release

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