Shane Natalie unwittingly predicts the future on solo project's new release, 'Lunch'
On Good Shade's power-chord-packed 2015 record Breakfast, singer/guitarist Shane Natalie used the morning meal as a metaphorical launching point for exploring inequity.
“Breakfast is the important meal of the day, [but] there's disparities,” Natalie said recently at a Downtown coffee shop. “Not everyone has the same access to quality food, so not everybody's breakfast is the same. Not everybody's privileges are the same.”
On part two of a planned triptych, Lunch, Natalie again wrote all the songs and played all the instruments himself, maintaining his guitar-forward, power-pop/punk sound (fans of fellow local act the Sidekicks, take note). But instead of writing songs after long hikes on camping trips, he retreated to his basement recording/practice space after watching coverage of the presidential campaign. Natalie decided to write an album based on what he saw as the worst-possible election outcome.
“It was supposed to be a narrative, like a nightmare,” he said. “Then it really [happened], and I'm like, ‘Oh, my God! No! I predicted the future!'”
Lunch's liner notes include a drawing that visually mashes Ronald McDonald with Donald Trump, and on “1st World Comic Book,” over a start-stop rhythm, Natalie sings, “We're regressing to the 1960s/Your time is Truman Show, a celebrity episode on Nick at Nite.”
“I don't want anybody to be like, ‘I don't want to listen to the news while I'm listening to music,' but at the same time it is politically and socially heavy,” said Natalie, who purposefully wrote some of the songs longer and slower than others in Good Shade's catalog, which tends to operate in full-throttle mode. “I keep it fun and poppy while tricking you into thinking it's happy, but it's actually dark and cynical.”
Natalie is also sure not to let himself off the hook for the ills he calls out. “I sit for an hour and feel disgusted with me,” he sings on “Garbage Out.”
“I'm complaining about it, but what am I really doing?” he said. “I can only be as angry as what I'm putting into it to counter all the garbage that's being thrown and piling up every single day when I turn on the news.”
Natalie has played in Columbus bands Sleep Fleet, Pretty Pretty and Noise Blanket, but Good Shade is a solo endeavor — that is, until he takes the show on the road, which he'll do this month with Joe Camerlengo on guitar, Patrick Matanle on bass and Austin Eilbeck on drums. The live version of Good Shade will play a Lunch release show on Friday, July 21 at Used Kids.
To complete the trilogy, Natalie isn't sure yet whether he'll title the third record Dinner or Supper. But the album is already in the works.
“If I don't record something, I feel like I'm going crazy,” he said. “It's a pent-up energy that needs to come out.”