LP released: Sep 15, 2023
"It was a rainy day at the recycling centre in Leitrim. There, amongst the tangle of discarded kettles and broken-down toasters, I first laid eyes on her." A few years after her stand-out contribution to our 'Wacker That' compilation and following a bunch of purple patch releases for Nyahh Records, TakuRoko, Fort Evil Fruit and Eiderdown Records, Natalia Beylis graces Touch Sensitive with a true landmark album for the label - 'Mermaids. Recorded both at home in Leitrim and at neighbour Mat Warren's studio (Studio Moo Moo - a converted cow shed), 'Mermaids' was inspired by two salvaged items: a CRB Elettronica Ancona - Model: Diamond 708 E electric keyboard from the local tip and a photo taken by her father found in a pile of old family scraps. Smuggled home in the back of the van and ridded of the nine purple crayons lodged inside, the keyboard sounded perfect to Natalia; "The sounds that come from her when I play always move me like water; swimming in rivers and floating in the murk beneath the surface." The striking image which would become the cover art features Natalia's mother and two friends during a dip in the ocean. We see three women hanging out on a large rock - their bad-ass hairdos and poses perfectly framed and saturated in sepia. "There are complete siren vibes coming from the rock. Three women, three girls, three witches, three mermaids. I wish I was one of them. Or friends with them.' After testing compositions and recordings for months on the rescued keys, the discovery of her father's image formed the final work: "A confluence of the sounds and the image charged through me, and the album began to flicker into being." Much like the push and pull of the River Shannon, Natalia's own local swimming spot, 'Mermaids' flow is both organic but unstoppable. Anchored around the album's hypnotic 17-minute title track, we are fully immersed within this subaquatic suite from the first splash. Alongside the keyboard's glistening tone, field recordings from Natalia's expansive archive bring us back up for air; taking stops to check in with the chittering chickens and ducks of Athlone. In keeping with her back catalogue and extensive body of work, 'Mermaids' exists within its own imagined universe. This is truly singular work that continues to underline Natalia as one of the finest underground artists of her time. We wholeheartedly encourage you to take a forty-minute sonic dip into a deep, murky, watery world of her own creation.