How I Knew Her, the Nonesuch debut from Nataly Dawn of Pomplamoose, comprises 12 autobiographical, introspective songs by Dawn, produced by her longtime partner Jack Conte and recorded with a group of accomplished musicians—Ryan Lerman, David Piltch, Louis Cole, and Matt Chamberlain—at Prairie Sun Studios, where many of her favorite Tom Waits albums had been made. Mojo gives it four stars, as does the Daily Telegraph, which calls it "delightful." The BBC calls it "the sound of a woman brimming with ideas as she seizes her moment."
Nonesuch Records releases How I Knew Her—the label debut from Nataly Dawn, the California-based singer/songwriter of the duo Pomplamoose—on February 12, 2013.
How I Knew Her—comprising 12 autobiographical, introspective songs by Dawn—was produced by her longtime partner Jack Conte. The album was recorded at Prairie Sun Studios in Cotati, CA, with a group of accomplished musicians including Ryan Lerman (Ben Folds, A Fine Frenzy) on electric guitar, mandolin, banjo, and acoustic guitar; David Piltch (k.d. lang, Bill Frisell, Bonnie Raitt) on upright bass; Louis Cole (Louis and Genevieve, Pomplamoose); and Matt Chamberlain (Brad Mehldau, Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Jon Brion) on drums. The studio, where many of Dawn's favorite Tom Waits albums were recorded, enabled the musicians to play one room as a full band. Oz Fritz engineered the album with Conte; it was then mixed by Mike Mogis and mastered by Bob Ludwig. The recording sessions were filmed and will periodically be released as companion videos including the above video for "Please Don't Scream" and videos for “Leslie” and “Araceli,” which are viewable on Dawn’s YouTube channel.
The daughter of missionaries, Dawn spent much of her childhood in Europe where she attended Lycées Français in France and Belgium before returning to the US to study art and French literature at Stanford University. It was there that she met Conte and formed Pomplamoose, eventually performing, recording, and editing songs and videos entirely on their own in their Northern California home. Their first upload to YouTube was an original collaboration, “Hail Mary,” which was featured on the YouTube homepage. In 2010 the duo began releasing creative covers of pop songs such as Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” and Lady Gaga’s “Telephone,” which grew their fanbase even further. Pomplamoose played 20 live dates in 2011 to sold-out audiences across the US. Before coming to Nonesuch, Dawn raised more than $100,000 via Kickstarter to make How I Knew Her.
In 2010 Pomplamoose released its first compilation of original songs with lyrics by Dawn entitled Pomplamoose VideoSongs, as well as an album of covers titled Tribute to Famous People. That same year, the duo also released The Holiday EP, in conjunction with Amazon.com, as an incentive for a charity book drive, raising more than $130,000 in books for the Richmond, CA, school system. Pomplamoose’s music can also be heard in a series of national television spots for Hyundai and Toyota. Nataly Dawn’s previous solo album, 2009’s Her Earlier Stuff, was a compilation of 12 songs that she had put up on YouTube over the course of the previous two years.
Produced, Arranged and Orchestrated by Jack Conte
All Songs & Vocal Harmonies Written by Nataly Dawn
Engineered by Oz Fritz, with Assistant Engineer Isha Erskine, at Prairie Studios in Cotati, CA
Additional Engineering by Jack Conte
Mixed By Mike Mogis at Arc Studios, Omaha, NE
Mastered by Robert C. Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, ME
Album Design & Photography by Jeffrey Marini
Nataly Dawn, vocals (1-12), acoustic guitar (1-9, 12), piano (11)
Ryan Lerman, banjo (1, 2, 7), electric guitar (1-3, 5, 6, 8-10), mandolin (2, 5, 7)
Jack Conte, organ (1, 8), percussion (1-3, 5, 9, 10), tambourine (1, 3, 8-10), piano (2, 5, 6), hand claps (2, 7, 8-10), claves (2), snare (2), toms (5), snaps (7), acoustic guitar (10), bass drum (11)
Matt Chamberlain, drums (1, 3, 5, 9)
David Piltch, upright bass (1-3, 5, 6, 8-10)
Anton Patzner, violin (1-3, 5, 6, 11)
Lewis Patzner, cello (1-3, 5, 6, 11)
Louis Cole, drums (2, 6, 8, 10)
Anthony Blea, violin (3, 11)
Yuri Kye, violin (3, 11)
Jacob Hansen-Joseph, viola (3, 11)
Brady Anderson, cello (3, 11)
Larry Goldings, piano (9)
Joe Cohen, saxophone (9)
Melecio Magdaluyo, saxophone (9)
Mike Olmos, trumpet (9)
Jeff Cressman, trombone (9)