It takes a lot of courage to turn your pain and rage into art and display it to the public, not knowing what kind of reaction will come from it. With that said, much appreciation to UK-bred singer-songwriter Natalie Good for sharing her emotions and story through her “Close to Closure” EP.
Natalie is a survivor after having to endure a traumatic toxic relationship. Like many in poisonous relationships, Natalie contemplated a lot regarding ending the relationship, which you can’t blame her considering abusive people are excellent at manipulating. And it’s hard to fathom that the person you love and is supposed to love you could cause so much damage to you.
After experiencing betrayal and lies from her ex and her ex’s MOM, the singer-songwriter decided enough was enough and embarked on a journey far from the narcissist, eventually birthing “Close to Closure,” a six-track EP.
The first song, “For a While,” touches on time. And in Natalie’s case, she needed time to decide whether she wanted to remain in the relationship with her abusive partner or leave. Following her decision to leave, she took the time to heal and, eventually, forgive her oppressor.
“For a While” is a soulful track with sassy leading and backing vocals. Compact with attitude and elegance, maturity seeps from the record—as one would expect from someone who took time to recover and to analyze and interpret their emotions.
According to the English singer, she found it the hardest to record “Deep Down,” one of the most beautiful tracks on “Close to Closure.” “Deep Down” is a more intimate song containing vocals and keys. The soft backing vocals and harmonies accompany Natalie’s leading voice well. It’s a relief Natalie knew the song didn’t require more than what had been given. She allowed her vocal talents and story to shine.
The most heartbreaking thing about the song is that despite everything her ex put her through, she manages to be truthful to herself. Instead of lying, saying he was and meant nothing to her, she gracefully sings, “you were my love / you were my lesson / you were my life / my biggest blessing.” You can hear in her voice, especially in the chorus, how hard it was to convey those words.
Many can relate to “One sided stories,” which address fresh post-breakup matters. It’s where the whole he say/she says fiasco starts. Natalie’s ex, according to the track, Natalie’s ex is an expert in gaslighting—falsely accusing her of cheating, knowing she would never, and using it to his advantage.
“Guinea Pig of Love” lies more along the lines of rage.
“I found out he was already dating a new girl while he was still trying to win me back which also hurt a lot, and I doubt she knew he was still pining for me whilst he was love bombing her,” Natalie said.
Unsurprisingly, her ex’s actions to win her back (through jealousy) made the singer feel their relationship wasn’t real.
“I was just like a Guinea Pig in a testing lab for love instead of actually ever having an authentic and real loving relationship with him,” she explained.
“Pretty Girl Hate” is all about female empowerment. The former girlfriends of her ex reached out to Natalie with concern because they, too, experienced his torment. Natalie taught in this track that beautiful things could come from horrible situations. Instead of hating the exes, she opened herself to friendship with women who understood the trauma she endured with him.
Lastly, “Trauma Bonding” is more on the acapella side and talks about trying to break from a trauma bond, which is a relationship between an abuser and the abused. The abuser uses a seven-step cycle (love bombing, trust and dependency, criticism, gaslighting, resigning to control, loss of self, and addiction) to keep their partner. And it makes it hard for the abused partner to resist because of the mental damage.
“Close to Closure” is an incredible record and shows just how strong of a singer and person Natalie is. As someone who never sought therapy after an abusive relationship similar to Natalie’s, the EP opened my eyes and brought me peace.
Thank you, Natalie!
Check out “Close to Closure” and follow Natalie on her music journey.
Written by Taylor Berry