It’s been nearly three years since Natalie D-Napoleon’s last EP, Here in California, fell across my desk. In the time between, though, the Australia-born, Santa Barbara-dwelling songstress seems to have developed her strongest collection of songs to date. On Leaving Me Dry, D-Napoleon’s first full-length offering, her soulful lilt and rootsy leanings are paired with some of the finest musicians the folk scene has to offer; David Piltch plays bass, Dan Phillips contributes keys, Victoria Williams adds banjo and backing vocals, and the late Kenny Edwards provides guitar and mandolin accompaniment. At the helm of it all, D-Napoleon delivers a gorgeously diverse collection, complete with rollicking folk jams (“Don’t Be Scared,” “How Can I Love You So?”), heartfelt slow burners (“Leaving Me Dry”), and one masterfully placed riff from The Pixie’s “Here Comes Your Man” (“So Brand New”). It makes for a record that’s as listenable as it is emotionally charged — a triumph for one of S.B.’s brightest stars.
Leaving Me Dry