“Solely”, the sophomore effort by folk guitarist/singer-songwriter Natalie Jane Hill, is a record of transition. While the Central Texas native’s stunning debut “Azalea” grew from years spent developing a textural narrative voice and idiosyncratic guitar style in the vibrant Blue Ridge Mountains, “Solely” represents a period of inward growth, and an outward push into an expanded sonic palette.
Following a move back to the Austin area in the fall of 2019, just months ahead of the pandemic, Natalie began an intensive period of reflection, and expanded her song-craft’s foundations from the broader themes of nature into the vulnerable intricacies of self-discovery. Along with this process came an openness to external creative input.
Recorded between October 2020-March 2021 to Tascam 8 track in the Lockhart Texas home of producer Jason Chronis (Voxtrot, Tele Novella), these recordings represent Hill’s first incorporation of other musicians into her arrangements, featuring performances by Mat Davidson (Twain) among several other trusted friends. There is a liberating and careful grace in these collaborations, providing strength and color to the upper branches of each song while preserving space for the health of the roots.
“Solely” is a celebration of knowing ourselves well enough to be able to accept the darkest paths of introspection, which can allow us to combine our creative influence with others to construct the experiences we want to have. Like lived experience itself, this music breathes and inhabits the space you allow for it, constantly revealing new qualities and inviting repeated reflection.
SINGLES & RELEASE CALENDAR
August 25 – “Orb Weaver” + Video
“Orb Weaver” is a song about comparing myself to the hidden intricacies that I might find on a walk in the woods. I attach most of my memories to what is visually around during a certain time. Sometimes there is a comfort to the natural world and other times there is a harshness. My experiences can almost mirror them. I’d like to think that nature has a way of telling us exactly what we need to hear.
September 15 – “Solely” Video
“Solely” is a song of celebration, in a weird way. I had a realization one day that I had been ignoring my own needs for a long time. When you depend on others for your happiness, there is a limitation. I think there’s something very freeing about finding contentment on your own. I feel there is a strength to the word Solely and I wanted that to showcase these songs altogether.
October 6 – “Plants and Flowers That Do Not Grow Here”
“Plants and Flowers That Do Not Grow Here” is one of my more personal songs on the album. It’s about trying to navigate through a time of addiction while in a disassociated state. I had spent some time trying to distinguish reality from illusion, and I wanted this song to capture the dreamlike quality I was lost in.
October 29 – Full LP