|Birth name||Natalie Hannah McCool|
28 June 1988 |
Whiston, Merseyside, England, UK
|Origin||Widnes, Cheshire, England, UK|
|Genres||Pop, indie, alternative, folk, electronic, acoustic|
|Instruments||Vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, piano, keyboards, percussion|
|Labels||past: Hubris Records|
|Associated acts||Kalorie, Youngest Of Three|
Natalie Hannah McCool (born 28 June 1988) is an English singer, songwriter and guitarist born in Whiston, Merseyside and brought up in Widnes, Cheshire. Natalie first became recognised in 2007 when she won the Yamaha national songwriting competition 'Make It Break It', judged by music industry professionals such as Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, Grammy Award winning music producer Steve Levine and Live Aid promoter Harvey Goldsmith CBE. In 2008 Natalie signed a record contract with Levine's label Hubris Records. In January 2014, after releasing several records on Hubris including her debut album, Natalie and Levine mutually agreed to end the recording contract. In 2009 Natalie received a one to one songwriting session with Sir Paul McCartney.
- 1 Background
- 2 Music career
- 3 Discography
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Natalie was brought up just outside of Liverpool, and grew up listening to The Police, Radiohead, Jeff Buckley and Nirvana. She began playing guitar in her pre-teens, and first started to write songs around the age of 14. She attended Saints Peter and Paul Catholic College  in Widnes, and subsequently attended the school's adjoining sixth form, studying Music, Art and English Literature. When she was 17, Natalie secured a place at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) to study Music. The LIPA building is the old Liverpool Institute, the grammar school that Sir Paul McCartney and fellow Beatle George Harrison attended when they were in their early teens.
During her time at LIPA, Natalie played electric guitar in a number of bands, including a rock/pop band called Kalorie. Natalie, along with her bandmates from Kalorie, appeared in two episodes of the Channel 4 music competition T4 MobileAct unsigned (2007 series). In the first episode, Kalorie performed at Sheffield venue The Leadmill in front of a panel of judges including BBC Radio 1 DJ Jo Whiley, Blur bassist Alex James and Sugababes singer Mutya Buena. MobileAct unsigned was presented by Alex Zane.
During the same year, along with the drummer from Kalorie, Natalie formed the hard rock band Youngest Of Three. The band recorded a demo at LIPA, which was produced by Twin Method singer Jason Potticary. Twin Method’s debut album The Volume of Self was produced by ex-Machine Head guitarist Logan Mader whose guitar Natalie played on the Youngest Of Three demo. As Machine Head played such heavy metal, Mader’s guitar was strung with bass strings – which Natalie had to replace with electric guitar strings in order to use it.
In late 2007, Natalie formed her own band, in which she was the singular songwriter, playing guitar and also singing lead vocals. During the same year, she entered and won the Yamaha songwriting competition Make It Break It (MIBI), and subsequently was signed to Steve Levine’s Hubris Records, after he saw her perform at the MIBI Awards ceremony.
In 2009 during her final year at LIPA, Natalie had a one to one songwriting masterclass with Sir Paul McCartney, where he helped her write a bridge to one of her unfinished songs, and played along to it on guitar. At the end of the masterclass, he signed Natalie's guitar.
Whilst at LIPA, Natalie also attended masterclasses from Harry Potter actor Alan Rickman, songwriter Cathy Dennis, singer Will Young, singer and songwriter Sandi Thom, musician and composer Nitin Sawhney, The Cinematic Orchestra guitarist Stuart McCallum, Jamiroquai bassist Nick Fyffe, and music producer Trevor Horn.
In the summer of 2009 Natalie graduated with a First Class (hons) degree in Music, which she received from Sir Paul McCartney. The graduation ceremony was held at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, and was attended by Mike McCartney (brother of Sir Paul), Steve Levine, dancer Wayne Sleep, Sandi Thom, Will Young, actor Joe McGann, and music producer Tony Platt.
Shoot Shoot EP
Natalie’s debut "Shoot Shoot EP" was released on Hubris Records in October 2010, featuring three tracks, of which Shoot Shoot was the single. To promote the EP Natalie performed live on a number of BBC Radio sessions, including BBC Radio Manchester, BBC Radio Merseyside and BBC Radio Solent. The Shoot Shoot single was also played by John Kennedy on XFM. DJ duo Hawker remixed Shoot Shoot, and this was released on iTunes shortly after the EP.
In February 2011 all three tracks from the "Shoot Shoot EP" were listed in the top ten most listened to tracks on internet site Bobcom, with Shoot Shoot and Little End at numbers one and two. Bobcom describe themselves as a "one stop watering hole for talent", and have gained support from Gavin & Stacey actor Mathew Horne, Steve Levine, Culture Club singer Boy George, BBC Radio 1 DJ Annie Nightingale MBE, and UK bands Mystery Jets and Blood Red Shoes.
Merry Christmas EP
In December 2010 Natalie released "Merry Christmas EP" on Hubris Records. The EP featured three tracks, the single being At Christmastime (With Friends Around) which was written by Natalie, and two covers; Sir Paul McCartney's Wonderful Christmastime and Wizzard's I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday. At Christmastime (With Friends Around) was played on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 6 Music.
Black Sun EP
"Black Sun EP" was released on Hubris Records in May 2011 and achieved considerable recognition. The EP featured three tracks and the single Black Sun was favourited by BBC Radio 6 Music DJ Chris Hawkins who played it a number of times on his show. Hawkins also invited Natalie to play at his own London music showcase Wagon. Black Sun was also featured in an episode of the UK television programme Hollyoaks.
On Fire / Fortune (double A side)
On 9 January 2012 Natalie’s new release "On Fire / Fortune double A side" was made available to pre-order on iTunes, before its official release date in March.
In February 2012 to promote the Fortune single, Natalie did an interview live on air with Richard Allinson (covering for Janice Long on her show's slot) on BBC Radio 2. Fortune received considerable airplay on BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music.
Thin Air EP
In July 2012 Natalie released a series of live session videos on her YouTube channel, titled the "Drive Sessions". One of the session videos is a cover of Nightcall, a track performed by French house artist Kavinsky which features in the motion picture Drive, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. The other live session from the "Drive Sessions" is America, a song that Paul McCartney had some input with (see 'Early Career' in this article).
On Wednesday 15 August Natalie announced the free download of her new single Thin Air which features Suede guitarist and record producer Bernard Butler, who played additional guitar on the track. Thin Air received its first radio play on Amazing Radio, and subsequent plays on BBC Radio 2.
Dust & Coal single release and debut album
In December 2012 Natalie announced the release of a new single Dust & Coal, which would be the lead track from her forthcoming debut album, scheduled for release in spring 2013. In the same month Dust & Coal was played by Bella Union co-founder & Cocteau Twins member Simon Raymonde on Amazing Radio. Dust & Coal was also featured on Liverpool culture blog and GIT Awards part judge panel Sevenstreets. Dust & Coal was released as a free download during the same month.
On 15 April 2013 Natalie released her self-titled debut album on Hubris Records, the album launch taking place on 27 April in Liverpool, hosted by BBC 6 Music DJ Chris Hawkins. The album was received very well by local & national press, and upon release was spotlighted on both iTunes & Spotify, featuring in iTunes' 'New & Noteworthy' and Spotify's 'Recommended' section.
The album was received very well by national radio, the tracks Thin Air & Dust & Coal both achieving 'Track Of The Weekend' on XFM.
In May 2013 Natalie attended the Ivor Novello Awards. In the same month she performed two tracks from her debut album to a worldwide audience on the Liverpool F. C. official TV channel LFC TV.
At the end of May, Natalie performed a live set in front of an audience in Studio 3 at Abbey Road Studios in London. The set was recorded and released as a live EP in September 2013, available for download exclusively online from music magazine Bido Lito.
On 28th August 2013, Natalie won 'Female Artist of the Year' at the Liverpool Music Awards. Other winners were Miles Kane (Album of the Year) and BBC Radio 2 DJ Janice Long (Outstanding Contribution to Music).
Wondrous Place and November 2013 tour
In October 2013 Natalie released a one off track to coincide with her November UK tour; the track being an unusual cover of Billy Fury's 1960 hit Wondrous Place. The track was not available anywhere to purchase or download, but remained streamable only from Soundcloud. The video was released on 23 October 2013, and was described as 'spectral' by rock critic and founding editor of Mojo magazine, Paul Du Noyer.
|-||-||Nightcall / A Real Hero|
|-||-||Dust & Coal|
|2010||"Shoot Shoot EP"||Shoot Shoot|
|2010||"Merry Christmas EP"||At Christmastime (With Friends Around)|
|-||-||I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday|
|2011||"Black Sun EP"||Black Sun|
|2012||"Thin Air EP"||Thin Air|
|-||-||Thin Air Manmade Soul Remix|
Double A Sides
|2012||"Fortune / On Fire"||Fortune|
|2010||Shoot Shoot Hawker Remix|
|2010||At Christmastime (With Friends Around)|
|2011||Black Sun Hawker Remix|
|2012||Dust & Coal|
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