Creative Control: An Interview with Natalie Joly

Natalie Joly believed that every family had singalongs each night after dinner - imagine her surprise when she tried to start a band in the third grade and none of her classmates knew what a band was. Turns out, the Joly family was more musically inclined than most.

Growing up, she always had instruments at her disposal and picked up the guitar at age 6. By age 14, she was playing acoustic cover shows on a weekly basis. She started her first band when she was 17, playing the local Boston cover scene. She went through a few iterations of bands, the last being Natalie Joly and the Reckless Hearts, before deciding she wanted to pursue music on her own.

“It's just one of those things where when you're being creative you get to a point where you just want to have that creative control for yourself,” she said.

As she was planning this new project, the global pandemic hit. Although it was and continues to be a devastating time for the world, in a way it became a blessing in disguise for her to have that creative time that she might not have had before. Any chance of playing live was gone, and there was nothing else to do except sit in her home studio and create music.

She took that time to write as many songs as she could, learn more aspects of the production side of music and play as many instruments as possible. One of the songs that came out of this was “Running Circles”. It was one of the first full arrangements Joly did on her own, and even made the music video in the same vein of creating a behind-the-scenes look at how it was created.

She has also released two other singles that she originally started recording with the band, “Yours To Stay” and “Will You Ever Stop”. She changed the direction of the songs, making them more pop and less rock, and updated the visual aspect as she had already shot the music videos for them.

“‘Yours To Stay’ was a really big project for me in that I always wanted to have a song and video that are super cohesive,” she said. “I really tried to tell that story of heartbreak and relationships not necessarily going the way you want it to, and that was a big bucket list item for me to really do a project where the song and video are made to completely align with each other.”

What she is most excited for is the opportunity to take these three songs and give them their moment to shine before adding them to something she has never done before - a full-length album. There is going to be a mix of older songs that she has been playing live for years and new songs that no one has heard before.

“I've been working on my sound, being pulled in a more pop direction, so this album is really going to be along the pop-rock spectrum,” she said. “It's definitely going to show people who have been following me for a while a new sound that they're not used to.”

Natalie Joly turned her family singalongs into a lifetime of creativity. Whether she’s creating on her own or with other musicians, her songs reflect on that moment in time where all she knew was music.