Natalie Schlabs is a singer-songwriter who was raised in Texas and now lives in Nashville. Not surprisingly, her roots are in country music. But sometimes artists shift away from what they have been known for, and Schlabs has done that on the new album Don’t Look Too Close, which was written mostly when she was pregnant with her first child. It seems fitting then that a shift in sound would accompany a life event as big as welcoming your first child into the world.
The album begins with the subdued “That Early Love.” In it, Schlabs sings in a dreamy, muted voice that “The whole house is quiet now. He’s finally sleeping sound.” It gives you the sense that she is singing right next to a sleeping baby.
Schlabs sings in a breathy voice that is the perfect complement for the spacey sound of the guitar in the melodies. “Don’t Go” for example kind of sounds like what would happen if Derek Trucks played guitar for The Sundays.
On Lydia Loveless’s new album, she made a move away from the country sounds expected of her. Schlabs has made a similar move. Granted, there are still elements of Americana. The acoustic guitar in “Endless Love” is pretty folky. The same can be said for “See in the Dark”. The other component of the album is the spacey indie rock sounds that take you back to mid-90s college rock. Schlabs ties it all together with her quiet but strong vocals.
Between the swirling sounds and the vivid pictures she paints with her words, Schlabs takes you on a journey with these nine songs. It is a journey of hope and the love that only a mother can have for her child. Don’t Look Too Close was released on October 16 and is available everywhere now. Order your copy here.