Nashville-based, Texas-bred singer/songwriter Natalie Schlabs has released her new album Don’t Look Too Close. The songs, written while Schlabs was pregnant with her first child, sparked much introspection and reflection, and allowed her to process her fears about motherhood. Each of the album’s nine shimmering tracks live in the tension between the beauty and heartbreak surrounding our closest relationships.
“Don’t Look Too Close capitalizes on the duality of the past and the future,” No Depression said of the album’s opener and title track. “In the same breath as she reflects on the struggles she didn’t see her parents having as a kid, Schlabs thinks ahead to her own child’s life, hoping he won’t notice the things that are difficult for her.” In it, Schlabs confronts the inevitability of making mistakes, a cycle that seems nearly impossible to avoid. The song’s accompanying video is about being able to take an honest look at who we really are – the good and the bad. Change can come simply from that awareness. “That Early Love, which PopMatters called “a song made for these desperate times,” celebrates the beauty of enduring love while “Go Outside,” which Ones To Watch called “the perfect indie soundtrack to a summer afternoon,” encourages us to put down our screens and enjoy the beauty us. Schlabs provides encouragement in “See What I See,” giving hope to others who are struggling, and lead single “Home Is You,” the accompanying video of which features fellow artists and friends like Robby Hecht, the members of Oliver the Crow, Betsy Phillips, and gospel/soul powerhouse Liz Vice, celebrates finding your “person.” Bringing the album full-circle is album closer “Ophelia,” written for a friend who lost her daughter, “reaches into the most extreme dichotomy there is, that of life and death,” commented No Depression.