Natasha Bedingfield is taking wing.
The 29-year-old British singer/songwriter is famous for a voice that does just as much swooping and soaring as serenading. This vocal freedom is specially suited to the new flight path Bedingfield's songs have taken in an exploration of what it means to break free of life's mediocrities.
San Diegans are encouraged to join the artist at the House of Blues on Saturday as she makes good on her escape.
The cover of her newest album, Strip Me Away, shows a feathered, windswept Bedingfield with peacock blue eyes and tribal face paint. Despite the makeup, there's something organic about the image, as though the photographer had captured the artist in her natural state.
This is not to say given the chance the singer would literally sprout wings. "Elephant" she promptly declared when asked what her spirit animal is. "I like them. I just liked them as a child."
The album is a re-vamped re-release of 2010's Strip Me and features songs like "Pocketful of Sunshine" and "Weightless." The title's racy connotations notwithstanding, Strip Me Away refers to Bedingfield's attempt to grasp at what unites us deep down beneath the daily facade. Speaking with SoundDiego, Bedingfield said: "We are all connected. I’m not an island on my own. Our problems unify us. Your problem becomes my problem."
"As a songwriter I try to be very in tune with what’s going on in the world and try to write about those things we all relate to," Bedingfield said by phone from Anaheim. "Our generation especially wants to find a way to survive and escape and stay positive."
The title track’s music video depicts the songbird being dressed and undressed in a fast and fashion-forward series of outfits and headpieces. By song’s end, she has reverted to a much more natural yet mud-covered state. Bedingfield remarked on the symbolism of “peeling off the different layers.” Describing her personal style as “modern tribal,” she added, “we don’t know who we are until we know where we came from.”
If the song "Strip Me" leaves Bedingfield bare and championing her inner strength, "Pocketful of Sunshine" is the natural follow-up, revealing just how she keeps her self-confidence rock solid.
The singer has found her own formula for happiness in the whirlwind existence of a pop star. She shared that, as a touring artist, “if you don’t ask for a day off, you won’t get one. 'Pocketful of Sunshine' is about escape. For me, it’s spending time with friends, shopping and literally being in the sun and getting vitamin D. I’m also exploring Bikram yoga."
Speaking of sun-soaking, the artist is looking forward to her return to America’s Finest City.
“I love San Diego!" Beddingfield raved. "I think it’s really pretty, and I like that you have a beach.”
She was disappointed to note that there won’t be any time to enjoy said beach on this particular trip.
Doors open at 7 p.m. for Bedingfield's show on July 2. Tickets are $23 and $27 on the day of the show.