Indie pop artist Natalie Shay is back with a brand new EP entitled NAKED. The five-track release is a journey through young adulthood from the lens of a 21-year-old, detailing relationships and life as a young musician. While I enjoyed the project as a whole, one track, in particular, caught my ear – ‘Owe It To You.
On the single, London-based artist Natalie Shay tackles a hard topic: the struggle to resist temptation while in a relationship.
Take a look at some of the most popular songs in history. What do they have in common? They’re usually about relationships, good and bad, and often deal with heartbreak and betrayal. But, out of the songs you can think of, how many feature a narrator talking about being the one to betray, as opposed to being betrayed.
This is what Natalie Shay contemplates in ‘Owe It To You.’
Don’t let the poppy ’80s vibe fool you: this track is more than just a fun-sounding bop. It’s personal, heartfelt, raw. The emotions ‘Owe It To You’ evokes is accompanied by some poignant musical choices.
‘Is it time to be the one who got away?’ questions Shay. In this narration, Shay ponders if she is a waste of her partner’s time, as she thinks about others despite her relationship status.
The track does a good job of making listeners feel sympathy for two different parties: for the narrator, struggling with her desire to be open, and her partner, who is unaware of all of the temptations she is feeling. It’s easy to connect with the latter. At the core, no one wants to see someone else get hurt. Still, Shay’s vocals and lyrics make it hard not to feel a sort of tenderness, some compassion, for the narrator herself, despite her possibly being the one to break someone’s heart.
‘Owe It To You’ leaves listeners on a cliffhanger, waiting with bated breath for Shay’s next track, hoping to see a continuation of this story. The song ends with Shay singing, ‘I think I owe it to you,’ but it keeps you wondering. Does the narrator continue the relationship, not wanting to leave the comfort zone? Does she come clean, tell her partner that they deserve better than her?
We might never know. But that’s part of the magic of the song and Natalie Shay’s songwriting.