Nat Vazer is an alternative artist out of Melbourne and Eat This Music has been a fan ever since coming across her single ‘You’re Winning Me Over’ back in August 2018, which then Eat This Music went to cover Nat’s other releases, “Struggletown“, “Grateful” and “For A Moment“, throughout 2018 to 2020, respectively.
“I’m doing alright I think? I’m mostly stuck at home like everyone else and my tours have all been cancelled, Nat Vazer expresses to Eat This Music about her life right now, “but I’m lucky to still have a part-time job and I know it’s just a matter of time before things will be better again.”
“I haven’t really had a normal iso day yet because I’ve been focusing so much on my debut album and busy preparing for its release.” Although, Nat’s album is out now, she has “been making film clips in iso which has been challenging working within the lockdown restrictions but that’s forced me to learn how to do a lot of new things myself so it’s been an interesting process.”
“When I’ve been able to catch a break, reading books and riding my bike. It’s also nice catching up with friends over dinner now that the restrictions have eased a bit.”
Out now through independent label, Hotel Motel, Nat Vazer speaks to Eat This Music on the release of her debut album, and how it “feels strange to be releasing my first album at such a crazy time but I had decided that 2020 was the year it would come out so I’m committing to that.” Nat continues, “It doesn’t make sense to postpone as there’s still so many unknowns about how the stages of recovery will pan out or when the state and international borders will open up again.” Nat also wrote most of the album in 2018 so she felt like she has already moved on in her head and it doesn’t make sense to be holding off any longer. “While the pandemic means I may not be able to play live shows any time soon, I think people appreciate that new music is still being released while they’re in lockdown and there’s clearly been an increased appetite for that and higher engagement with radio, social media and music streaming.” So it feels weird but exciting to be releasing an album Nat expresses.
Going into detail on the album, Nat Vazer clarifies that “‘Is This Offensive And Loud?’ is taken from the first song on the album, and it’s one of the many thoughts that crossed my mind at the time I was writing the record.”
“So the title reflects the state of mind I was in when I wrote the record and the idea that if we can worry less about what people think, we can achieve far more by focusing on ourselves, doing what we have to do and going where we have to go.” — Nat Vazer on the release of her debut album.
“I think that’s also conducive to being able to help others,” Nat continues in our chat, “I think people will always try to instil in you their own ideas of what is sensible for you.” Writing music has nothing to do with being sensible, Nat explains, “Anyway, I think I’ll leave it for listeners to decide for themselves whether it’s offensive and loud.”
Nat Vazer’s album is essentially a collection of emotions, experiences and significant stories from over time. “There are also vents about more worldly issues in songs like ‘Grateful’ and ‘Better Now’ which describes how unreal it was to be living in North America at a time where Trump’s still in power, high school mass shootings are making all the headlines, and things like the Toronto Van Attack keep happening – including in my home city, Melbourne.”
‘Is This Offensive And Loud’ was written over many late night walks in Toronto city and lying in basement apartments with a guitar, Nat reveals to Eat This Music, “I had just quit my 9 – 5 job in Melbourne and went to live in Canada for a while and travelled around the US a bit.” Being away from home and the distractions of everyday life allowed Nat to focus on self-recovery and to re-discover what fuels her as an artist. During “this time, the songwriting often poured out like streams of consciousness, pulling me towards new directions and new ways of self-expression as my time away from home gave me the space and clarity to reflect, to explore new ideas and be inspired all over again.”
Nat Vazer thinks people often believe creative life is grounded in some fantasy world. But “so much of it is grounded in reality – like in the little things we focus on,” Nat adds, “the things we imagine or specifically notice. My life experiences and the things I care about feed into the writing.”
Nat originally didn’t set out to make an album at all. In fact, Nat explains that when she “recorded the first couple songs on the record, my producer asked if I was making an EP or an album and I had only decided after recording those first few songs that it was going to be an album.”
“I didn’t want to just write an album because it’s an industry standard thing or because that’s what people expect musicians to do. I often make weird, auto-pilot decisions in my everyday life but making an album should never be that.” — Nat Vazer on why she wanted to make a debut album.
“I also like the idea of letting the writing flow freely without a predetermined destination, if that makes sense,” Nat continues, “In this case, I had spent some time reviewing all the songs I had written over the year and was keen to record them.” Essentially Nat decided it made sense for the songs to be on the same album as they were from a previous chapter of her life and clearly belonged in the one collection.
For first-time listeners who may be conflicted on which song to start with on the album, Nat suggests ‘Higher places’, as it “would probably be a good ‘gateway’ song for a first time listener?” The album has a broad sound and that song probably sits somewhere in the middle of the spectrum so it’s a good intro to the rest of the record.
Aside form the album being out, Nat has been working on more new music, which she can’t wait for live shows to come back again so she can play them, but it may be a while before that happens. Nat is also keen to get back into touring with my band as soon as it’s safe to do so.