Park Employee, Natalie Santini debuts record album to high acclaim

Our very own, Natalie Santini, Environmental Educator at Moreau Lake State Park is also an acclaimed singer-songwriter. Her band, Little Saints, released their record, In The Weeds. 

Below article re-posted from Lucas Garrett,

A dynamite debut record, In The Weeds by Little Saints is a masterclass example of doing things amazingly well fresh out of the gate. The Saratoga Springs based band, spearheaded by songwriter Natalie Santini – her powerfully sultry voice alone would make anything sound soulful – has crafted six songs that establish the act as a force to be reckoned with. By the end of record, those drawn in by these bluesy tunes will be dying to hear more from Little Saints.

Listeners are instantly greeted with Motown and soul vibes with album opener, “Birthday Party.” It is extremely reminiscent, especially in its instrumentation, to records from Alabama Shakes, and more. Incredibly accented on the two and four of the bar, this song is dripping with swagger, and easily draws listeners in; an excellent introduction to the project’s songwriting abilities. While the instrumentation is impressive, Santini easily steals the show with her vocal stylings, a fact of the record that is fairly pervasive throughout.

With the slide guitar that begins “East to West,” the album drifts into a more laidback vibe. Rich in imagery throughout the song’s lyrics, it’s easy to get drawn into the narrative of this track. What really stands out are the little accoutrements here and there between vocal lines – the piano trickling in and out, as well as slide lines, is really effective.

Aside from the powerful vocal that remains consistent throughout this record, another standout feature is the guitar work. Simple, but effective, the guitar part in “Light Honey” has some exquisite tone that mirrors that which can be heard on records like Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me. The addition of a featured saxophone part (performed by Kyle Chamberlin) on this track really boosts the overall vibe and production.

Steering next into an acoustic feel, “Bad Intentions” is an unexpected but welcomed change of pace in the record. The drum pattern, with its repetitive nature, really helps drive the song forward. As the tune progresses, more electric instrumentation is added into the mix; that classic swagger the album developed earlier on once again returns. About midway through, a halftime feel occurs briefly, an arrangement tactic that makes listeners’ ears lurch forward as they’re greeted with something new. The original meter returns for the song’s climax, and the payoff is fantastic.

Another acoustic number, “Twos,” solidifies its power early on. Though slower than other songs on the record, the buildup is superb. Moving along, we’re introduced to electric guitars, slide, and a rhythm part that continues to develop, all set within a chord progression that has quite a classic sound to it. Drifting mildly into country, it’s a nice genre shift that occurs on the record.

Fans of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, et al, will rejoice in the closing tune, “Easy to Leave.” With a classic country stomper for an intro, the song slows down for a bit before revving right back up. This push and pull of the rhythm occurs throughout the tune, before settling into a slower pace during the latter half. There’s definitely some gospel-inspired choral singing in the background that really adds to the production of this track. With a tune that is just as intriguing as those that came before it, “Easy to Leave” is a solid way to close the record, leaving the audience wanting more from Little Saints.

Comprised of Natalie Santini on guitars and vocals, Ian Dingman on bass, Andy Arnold on lead guitar, Dan DeKalb on keys, and Josh Morris on drums, Little Saints splash onto the scene brilliantly with In The Weeds. A blend of blues, soul, Motown, and country, there’s a lot going on in this short collection of six songs. Check the record out for yourself today by clicking here.

In the Weeds is out today on all major streaming platforms.