Nat Vazer Photo Credit @instantcrushcreative
Melbourne Indie Rock/Pop artist Nat Vazer releases her debut album, ‘Is This Offensive and Loud’ on 29th May. We certainly hope so at Around The Sound! Read all about it here…
Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nat Vazer departed from a prestigious profession to pursue an honest dream. Instead of drafting Agreements and revising countless Addendums, the former civil litigation lawyer has been weaving words lyrically, composing the sounds of her life’s journey with some of the dreamiest riffs and musical arrangements, pulsating in the minds of her listeners long after the story is told.
The Indie Rock/Pop artist from Melbourne is releasing her debut album, ‘Is This Offensive and Loud’ on 29th May.
The vast majority of the creation is smeared in Vazer’s musical DNA; the guitar – riff, bass and rhythm, the piano and drums were all written by the prodigious artist. Three singles have been released as teasers to the album; Like Demi, For a Moment and Grateful.
Storytelling is also one of Nat’s métier; the warmth and the palpable sincerity in her vocalsare striking, oozing the nostalgia, sorrow, rebellion, yearn and frustration without being nauseatingly melodramatic and sensationalising.
Take Like Demi for example; it’s a song oozing with honesty, dwelling on self-acceptance and being unapologetic. ‘Now I’m all out of fucks to give’ says it all, and ‘is this offensive and loud’ – which transpired into the album title, seals her outlook in life. Yet, she’s able to regulate her indignation with casual boldness.
Acquiescence is not a part of Vazer’s mantra. The slice of sarcasm is rhetorically felt in Grateful. “And they tell me I should be grateful” is a jab on those who assume her (or women like her) to hold the subservient role. In parts, the music is pretty much grunge through theinsemination of the 90’s Nirvana’esq DNA, an era of frustrated souls that still rekindles in the musical spirit of Vazer.
The track is perhaps one of Vazer’s heaviest, followed by a melodic second half… the kind of duality that takes the track onto the crossroad between grunge and Julian Lennon’s “Saltwater” (yes – that’s very specific).
For a Moment exposes her vulnerability, the air is getting thin as you got closer’ portrays her susceptibility to raw emotions. The old adage – music expresses the message far greater than the lyrics – is particularly true especially when we consider one of the dreamiest riffs scintillating throughout the piece, drowning the listener in emotional nostalgia, oozing that floaty feel of infatuation with an ex-colleague.
We also felt the sorrow and agony of Vazer in Mother, ‘Mother is on the phone…cancer is eating her away now…everyday is a blessing but she doesn’t want more time…’ The song lasts for just over a minute, and perhaps that’s all that’s needed to shed a tear or two in a heart wrenching wrought.
Another memorable riff is displayed on Floating on a High. Despite the language warning of this lyrics, ‘we fucked in a hurry, knocked over my coffee’ – Vazer’s casual boldness truly summarises that she’s all out of fucks to give.
From start to finish, this album is a dreamy masterpiece on all fronts, even among the grungiest riffs according to Sheldon Ang – who also discovers in an interview that Nat Vazer feels most comfortable behind the mic.
Sheldon: The genre is more than indie rock.
Nat: It is predominantly indie rock…indie pop, or whatever people want to call. It’s a mix I guess (chuckles).
Sheldon: It feels indie rock or pop is the best platform to express those underlying mood and message of your lyrics and performance without being melodramatic – that is, wavy, nonchalant, dreamy – yet empowering.
Nat: Yeah, I think the genre itself lends to do being able to express yourself more honestly because the music makes room for a more relaxed setting, and for emotions to be more expressive as opposed to other genres where the texture might be a bit thicker to convey those kinds of emotions and vibes.
Sheldon: The first single released for the upcoming album – Like Demi, containing the line“I’m all out of fucks to give” and “Is this Offensive and Loud” – which also happens to be the title of the upcoming album on the 29th of May. Are you that person, who is unapologetic?
Nat: I guess, yes. I thought it’s fun and cheeky as well. It was one of the many questions I was asking myself when I was writing the album as it reflected my headspace at that time, ‘is this me, am I being too honest’ in my lyrics…’Am I being true to myself, this is offensive and loud’. I should be unapologetic to myself – and that’s the only way to be…and the only way to write honestly. That’s where the title came from and you have that ‘girl fight’; something that I grew up with. So that reflects the headspace I was in.
Sheldon: And Grateful has that 90’s grunge feel. Is that coming from your Nirvanainfluences?
Nat: Somewhere in my head it is still the 90’s. And I love that genre, growing with a lot of those type. And I was writing that song when I was living in Toronto. And I used to listen to The Strokes and Death Cab for Cutie. And those kinds of Indie bands and radio hit as well and writing is something I like to do when I go to a new place because you’re learning to adapt again with the surroundings, meeting new people and listening to the bands that I grew up with is kinda grounding for me. I was thinking of what would a female version of The Strokes and Death Cab for Cutie would sound like – and that’s where Grateful came into place. And I guess that’s where the 90’s influence came from.
Sheldon: I love the dreamy feel For a Moment, and that riff several seconds into the track -which itself feels like a chorus itself. That song is no longer about empowerment or independence, with lyrics like “the air is getting thin as you got closer” – which takes you into being vulnerable.
Nat: If I’m being honest with myself in a song, the vulnerability comes out and it’s something that a lot people can relate to. I guess I’m trying to catch a situation where if you are falling for someone, you get that dreamy feel, as if time is standing still. Where am I is trying to soak everything at once and all the thoughts that’s going through your head, as if the world is standing still. And that guitar riff is what I’m trying to convey – that vibe and that emotional vulnerability. And I think where a lot of people will be familiar with and relate to as well.
Sheldon: So For a Moment is inspired by true story?
Nat: Yes, it has something to do with an ex colleague (chuckles).
Sheldon: Do you collaborate with other musicians in the writing department, or do you write your own music?
Nat: I tend to write all of the parts, so I start on the drums, but my band members bring their own personality in the way they play, expressing themselves. Rob (the producer) might have suggestions in the way it should be or it could be played, a little tweaks here and there, but yeah I wrote all of the parts for that the base, lead and rhythm as well.
Sheldon: Wow that’s great, and you are self-taught as well.
Nat: I grew up playing classical piano with lessons. But with guitar I’m self-taught, and withdrums I picked up playing in high school in bands. I learnt the guitar off the Internet and guitar magazines, by jamming intuitively, teaching myself because that’s a really good way of learning. Learning classical piano from someone else didn’t give me the room to explore. I was more focusing on the rules and the music theory, so it was very rigid.
Sheldon: What can we expect for the remaining of your album?
Nat: The album will be a collection of stories, experiences and emotions that have happened recently in my lifetime…a reflection of particularly events in my life. For example, Better Now which is the fourth track of the album, reflects the time when Trump is in power, all these high school shootings and attacks that are happening. And I was musically inspired by the Toronto attack, and similar things happening here in a Melbourne. They are likedocumentary of short stories in my life.
The album will be out on the 29th of May via Hotel Motel records through digital, vinyl, CD,from your local indie stores, Bandcamp. I will drop another single as well, and a movie clip.
Sheldon: You were a lawyer and now focusing on music. I’m also an engineer by day; what advice would you give to someone who is a part time journalist and a photographer, but wants to do the them full time?
Nat: Yeah it feels like a lifetime ago. After uni, I worked as a lawyer and I was a civil litigation solicitor, with a lot of court cases in government, which was really interesting. I loved it because I get to work a lot in interesting areas like family violence and human rights areas, they are special to me because it was about be making a difference. But it left me with fairly little time for music . And I remember in 2017 I took on a new role and it was long hours and hectic, and I was struggling to write my first EP.
I wasn’t getting much sleep and every time I had a great guitar riff in my head, I just didn’t have the energy for it and sometimes you wake up and like ‘Oh my God this the best lyrics in the world and I gotta write this’, and then I had some urgent deadline in the morning, and I had to rush to the office to do something so being a full time lawyer and the stress that came along with it wasn’t great for my creativity…and the two things were constantly crashing.
And I think only in 2018 thatI decided to quit. I wanted to make one time and space for music. I realised that if I wanted to do something seriously, it had to be either music or law; so I quit. And I guess I didn’t realise how important it for me was to live art for life. And I haven’t really looked back since.
As for your aspiration, follow the things that excite you because it will always let you to the truth and offering. And ultimately that’s the only way to live an honest life. And if you do that, your creativity will help you find the answers… and it will come naturally to you.