Polish singer-songwriter Natalia Mateo is now resident in Berlin and this is the first time that this writer has heard her voice which comes across as heavily influenced by the 1970s work of Joni Mitchell, and is a fascinating juxtaposition of East meets West styles. In fact, multiple influences are discernible here and they include music, literature and fine art, with Maya Angelou and Louise Bourgeois counting as key figures in the life of the singer.
Of interest is the frequent referencing of cultural figures such as the composer/pianist Krzysztof Komeda whose soundtrack to the film, ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, is re-interpreted here, or a song devoted to the French poet and entitled, ‘François Villon’. French chanson legend and singer Georges Brassens is just one of many who have paid tribute to this historical writer. The Polish traditional song, ‘Bandosha’, is revisited and comes across as an eery drum sound plus electric piano which almost sounds like a dub reggae accompaniment.
Three out of the ten songs are composed by Mateo and, while this writer is not conversant in Polish, the translated versions of the original Polish compositions hint at a deeply poetic writer.
Bilingual English and German inner sleeve notes provide a wider historical context and there is a maturity to Mateo’s voice and lyrics that bodes well for the future.