A few years ago we spoke with the then relatively new singer-songwriter Natalie Claro about her debut album Disconnect – check out the interview here. Since then, Claro has released numerous EPs and singles reaching audiences across the globe. In fact, she has numerous notable critics like Earmilk describing her latest single as a “…sultry single highlighting powerful, soulful vocals”. Now, she wasn’t able to describe her music back in 2018 and we certainly can’t pigeon-hole her now combining elements of pop-rock, R&B, alternative pop and a bit more in the mix-up. The latest addition to her vibrant discography is the single ‘When Alcohol Tastes Like Juice’.
Adopting a DIY approach to music production, the talented US-based songstress not only writes her music but also records and produces it. As such, Claro has full creative control of her sound allowing her to bounce from Billy Joel-esque arrangements to Lady Gaga’s flamboyance but, in the end, it’s all a unique Claro sound. Unafraid to approach controversial topics including politics, activism and mental health, Claro’s music is provocative but also necessary in modern-day society. Her single ‘When Alcohol Tastes Like Juice’ delves into the issue of addiction in a world that normalises intoxication.
Described as a “coming-of-age” track, ‘When Alcohol Tastes Like Juice’ is not only metaphoric but somewhat realistic in a world normalising cocktails after work and boozy holidays with friends. Utilising a minimalist soundscape, the track enhances the poignant messages with beautiful melodic simplicity. In other words, ‘When Alcohol Tastes Like Juice’ is more about the lyrical message than the accompanying melody. Don’t get me wrong, the melody is significant but sometimes you need to focus on the words to get a message across.
What I truly enjoy is the juxtaposition of sombre lyrics and a lighthearted jovial melody. Following the pop-influenced single ‘Snow’, ‘When Alcohol Tastes Like Juice’ offers a soothing contemporary pop beginning; however, the incorporation of heavy guitar riffs followed by a tender narrative brings the poignant theme to the fore. A song that took the entirety of 2020 to compose, the track has weight and profoundness in its intimate narrative. Natalie Claro shares that “…many people were in a nihilistic state, worrying creation was useless. I realised I had spent the past few months partying each day since it brought a much quicker form of gratification than my long-term goals. I want to use this song to remind young people not to lose themselves in the process of making themselves. Finding joy is being grateful for the journey.”
Anthemic and intense, I believe ‘When Alcohol Tastes Like Juice’ is one of Claro’s most spectacular releases. Truly capturing the perspective of modern-day society, the track might be considered a sound of a generation. I cannot wait for more from this talented artist.