In the wake of a year of stillness and quiet, many of us have been given more time to reflect on the past, sift through our traumas, and continue on our way having learned from them. The Natural Synthetic's latest release "Damage" is a product of that extra space and time. With "Damage" the duo processes their pasts with a synthesis of Phoebe Bridgers’ folk rock and James Blake’s elegant yet edgy pop
The Natural Synthetic’s Miette Hope has never been afraid to write songs about her mistakes, but “Damage” is different. “‘Damage’ is about being like water, lying stagnant when it does, but flowing when it’s time to, acknowledging the things I’ve gone through but not letting them define me,” says Hope. “It’s the only way you can really move forward and welcome change for the better into your life. Writing this song was one of the most healing experiences for me and getting to listen to it back feels like a gift to myself.”
The Natural Synthetic’s other half, Juan Ariza, specializes in distilling the feelings that Hope is feeling. On “Damage,” Ariza also seasons the song with his own perspective and reflections. In 2019 he tore three tendons in his left hand – a catastrophic setback for a multi-instrumentalist and producer. “To me, 'Damage' was finding the flow state again after and sort of running upstream to end where I left off before the accident," he explains. The cover art for “Damage” is drenched in an earthy evergreen shade – a perfect representation of hope, growth, and strength. After all, evergreens are resilient and hold their shade through even the harshest of weather.
Like a true reflection of 2020, “Damage” was written over Zoom, starting with the guitar chords and finding shape as Hope and Ariza let their symbiotic process take over. Over the last year, The Natural Synthetic have released graceful pop, danceable electronica, and melodic alternative. Each single’s artwork is a mock-up of a periodic table square. Each track itself is like it’s own element, each with a completely different chemical makeup. According to Ariza, we can expect a new single from them every month for the foreseeable future. “The next one is called ‘Obsessive,’” says Ariza. “That one is the most rebellious child. I love that one.”