PREMIERE: Chess Players byLena Natalia


Chicago-based pianist & composer Lena Natalia is a storyteller who speaks through a piano rather than a pen, able to create scenes, moments, and characters only through the moods and melodies of her compositions. Her experiences living in Paris served as the backdrop for her first two albums while last year’s Second Youth explored personal and nostalgic territory closer to home. Her fourth collection of songs entitled Almost Home finds her broadening her sonic palette to include more varied piano textures, tasteful use of string & choral like synths, and even a bit of percussion. Listen here to an exclusive premiere of “Chess Players”, an especially elegant and cerebral piece with an evocative hint of Slavic flavor.

This is but one example of the diverse and vivid narratives Natalia serves up on the album. She takes us to places as far-flung as “Kyoto” and “St. Malo”, freeze frames intimate moments in songs such as “Acceptance Letter”, “Open Door”, and “Coffeehouse Glances”, and sketches character portraits in pieces like “The Solitary Tailor”, “The Knight”, and “The Stoic”. Almost Home is another enchanting outing with all the warmth and intimate charm Natalia has shown such a penchant for while the added colors & textures are a welcome addition to her repertoire. Pre-orders of the album are now available and it will be released on July 7 via Atelier Rls.

Links:  Bandcamp (downloads, CDs, & sheet music)  |  Lena Natalia website