Natalie Paige’s new single “When I Wake Up” leaves you craving more
On a cloudy winter evening, Natalie Paige delivered to the world a brand new single titled “When I Wake Up.” If you are a fan of harmonica as much as I am, you will fall in love with this song faster than it takes for you to snap your fingers, because, after a short introduction where the guitar is strummed with an almost lethargic subtlety, slowly switching between two chords, Paige delights us with a slightly hopeful harmonica melody.
Not even 30 seconds into the song, my mind is already drifting in the musical current that Paige so eloquently constructs with these two simple chords and a few pingy embellishments on the first two strings of her guitar. Some people believe that for something to be called “art,” it must be complex and include much struggle. Yet, a heart and a desire to share it with people is all it takes. This song proves it to be so.
There are many factors at play in the background: the stand-up bass that comes in behind the first harmonica solo, the marvelously fine-tuned reverb on the vocals that takes the listener down a corridor in between the waking and sleeping realms, and the increased tempo that brings us to the final dissonant chord that she resolves at the very last moment. Even through all these hidden layers — hidden intentions, some more transparent than others — the unity of the song seems simple and easy. And there is such beauty in that simplicity.
The cherry on top is the lyrics and their delivery. Paige sings of flying away, accepting loss, and craving the sky with great ease in her voice that turns into demanding declaration, ending her sentences not with a period, but with a tailspin on the final syllable. If words were a drill, Paige learned to spin it just so, so that one word can tear you in half.
Given the title of this track, I could imagine starting my day to this song, but, equally so, I could just as easily play this song on repeat until the moment I drift away to a slumber, trying to reach invisible heights as I softly weep the chorus, “but I, oh, I want the sky.”
Originally written for Dan's Tunes Seattle