Few songs can evoke the sort of very specific ’90s nostalgia that Natalie Imbrulgia’s Torn can. Released in 1997, the track (which was originally performed by American rock band Ednaswap) sold millions of copies worldwide and is still regularly played on Aussie radio.
Imbruglia’s popularity perhaps, in part, came down to the fact that she wasn’t your average soap star turned singer. She was grungier and embodied a type of effortless cool that would hardly suggest she had played a character on one of Australia’s most enduring (and far fetched) soap operas. Not to mention the fact that, for a time, she was even married to Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns.
While Imbruglia never reached the heights that fellow Neighbours alum Kylie Minogue was able to achieve, Imbruglia has carved out valuable space in the entertainment industry and has enjoyed film roles, stage performances and brand ambassadorships while we have patiently waited for new music from the songstress.
Well, dear friends, that day is almost here as Imbruglia has announced that her first album since 2015’s Male will be released on September 24, 2021.
The new record, Firebird, was written all over the world with collaborators such as Albert Hammond Jr of The Strokes, Romeo Stodart of The Magic Numbers, KT Tunstall, Eg White (Adele, Dua Lipa, Sam Smith), Luke Fitton (Little Mix, Girls Aloud), Fiona Bevan (One Direction, Ed Sheeran), Rachel Furner (Little Mix, Jason Derulo, Craig David) and more. The album touches on the themes of independence, vulnerability, the juxtaposition of strength and fragility, revealing Natalie’s newfound sense of confidence.
In contrast, the album was almost entirely recorded in lockdown — providing quite the juxtaposition.
In a press statement, Natalie said, “Making this album has been such a profound and satisfying experience. Having gone through a long period of what essentially was writer’s block, it was sometimes hard to envisage getting to this place.
“Before the pandemic, I started the process of writing this album in London and soon after, I headed to Nashville. With each session and new collaborator, I started to gain confidence, find my voice again, and craft the sound and style that felt authentic to me. It’s been such a privilege to work with such an array of talent on Firebird. I just can’t wait for people to finally hear it.”
The first single from the long-awaited album is called Build It Better with the singer describing it as “surrendering to the chaos and seeing what’s on the other side of it is a good life lesson.”
Firebird will be available on September 24.