Natalie Walker. Urban Angel. Biography.

Born and raised in Indiana, vocalist Natalie Walker is an artist whose lilting,
melodic voice and lyrical reveries reflect a life journey of determination and
self-discovery. With musical influences ranging from Alison Krauss to
Portishead, Jewel to Lauryn Hill, Beth Orton to Bjork, the former lead singer of
downtempo electronic group Daughter Darling now delivers her own unique,
haunting sonic landscape that is at once organic, ethereal, elegant and
entrancing. “Creating music is my outlet,” says Natalie. “I was born to sing.
When I don’t, I feel empty. When I do, I feel fulfilled. It’s that simple.”

Urban Angel, her solo album debut, was co-written by Natalie and two-man
production team Stuhr. “I worked with two really great producers out of
Brooklyn, Dan Chen and Nate Greenberg. They’d send me the rough copy of
a song and the music would just evoke emotion,” she explains. “Its like fitting
pieces of a puzzle together. When you’re in the studio recording its all very
raw and real. I try to make a song new each time I sing it. I want it to be
unforgettable. My producers are amazing. They forced me to develop my real
voice. I’ve improved my vibrato and my tone. Stuhr delivered exactly what I
asked of them. It couldn’t have happened more perfectly.”

Natalie On…


“Growing up in a Born Again Christian family was a positive experience, even
though I realized in my early twenties that such beliefs are not for me. My
parents are great, but they were very strict. School, on the other hand, wasn’t
a positive experience. I struggled. I knew from the very beginning that I was
different. Going to school, college, getting a job didn’t click. But I knew I loved
to sing. I started singing as soon as I could talk, but kept it a secret. I was
really shy. Nobody, not even my parents, knew I could sing. When I was 13
years old, I sang at a banquette in front of 300 people. They were floored.
Suddenly everyone knew: Natalie Walker can sing.”


Natalie formed her first funk-folk band when she was 17. Then she left Indiana
for Kentucky. “I went to a Christian college in a little town with 900 people, 500
of which were students at the school. When I was 18, I started to question my
beliefs. I needed reinforcement, or some kind of education about what I was
raised to believe.” Natalie spent a year and a half at college before deciding
religion and school were not her calling. “I would go to the little chapel on the
campus. It had a beautiful grand piano, so I would sneak into the auditorium
and sit at the piano and sing for hours. I would sing the same song over and
over again. Finally, I decided I’d seen what I need to see there and it was time
to move forward.”


Natalie met Travis Fogelman of Daughter Darling through an online ad
seeking a singer. She responded, and within a few days, they sent her a
sample to record. “I sent it back to Travis and his brother Steve and they
said, ‘You have to move here now!’ But it wasn’t that easy for me. I was in
school. I was making decent grades for the first time in my life. I decided to
tour with a worship band (a “Christ in Youth” group) over the summer instead.
I had some things to sort out. In the end, I’m glad I went on that tour because
it was confirmation that I needed to push further and do something completely
remarkable and different.” She finally moved to Philadelphia in February of
2002. Daughter Darling with Natalie as their front woman released Sweet
Shadows in July of 2003. The album continued to gain momentum for over
two years. “We planned a second release, but the producers of Daughter
Darling and myself had grown apart. After careful consideration, I decided that
it would be in my best interest to go solo. It was a difficult choice, but following
my gut has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. I hope Travis and
Steve continue to produce music, because they are both brilliant.”


“I am thankful that I was raised in a sheltered environment. I wasn’t exposed
to a lot pop music when I was young. I listened to religious or country music,
but I was a blank slate. I remember the first time I heard Portishead. I freaked
out. I fell in love with Beth Gibbons’ voice. It was strange and different. That
was sort of the beginning of the down-tempo, trip-hop vibe for me,” Natalie
reminisces. “Then I was introduced to great singers like Beth Orton and a
group called Over the Rhine. The lead singer, Karin Bergquist, has this
incredibly earthy voice.” Female artists like Alison Krauss, Ani Difranco, Bjork,
Erin McKeown, Jewel, Lauryn Hill, and even Garbage have also guided her.


“I’m really sensitive, but also goofy. That shy, quirky little girl is still lingering
inside. I’ve always been inspired by the nature of people...the cruelty, love,
compassion and how easily we conform. I question a lot. But I’m always
thinking about what I can do to make other people comfortable.” Indeed,
comfort is key to this artist. “I don’t want to look like someone that I’m not. I
don’t want to glamorize my image. Yet I don’t want to give the impression that
I’m this conservative, religious girl either.”

Urban Angel:

“This album happened so naturally. The music all melds together. It’s chill and
non-intrusive, the perfect mellow music at an intimate gathering. Or you can
sit back, put your headphones on and really get lost in it,” Natalie suggests.
“Urban Angel definitely exudes sensuality, and sexuality, and a little bit of
heartache. I really tap into it live. I’m really excited to perform the new
material. It’s a true representation of who I am. Urban Angel is a great album.
I love it and I’m really proud.”


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