Natural Velvet is Corynne Ostermann (bass, vocals), Greg Hatem (drums), Spike Arreaga (guitar) and Kim Te (guitar). The post-punk quartet is known in their native Baltimore for a distinct sound that is both aggressive and catchy. Framed by washing guitars, vocals that alternately howl and harmonize, and throbbing drum sounds, Natural Velvet creates music that moves between gazey indie pop and guttural, "wall of sound" noise rock. Aggressive bass lines throughout tie together a dark and foreboding framework, ultimately leaving the listener with haunting melody and hypnotic rhythm. At times confrontational, at times seductive, Ostermann's vocals guide the listener through dark rolling narratives of identity, existence, rage, and femininity.
The band formed during a summer break from art school in 2012, with original drummer Adam Jones.
Natural Velvet recorded their debut EP Salome With the Head of John the Baptist (2013), and their first full length, Shame (2014) in Chicago in a single studio session. These recordings afforded the young band their hard-earned entry into the Baltimore music scene and the American DIY music scene at large.
Their following full length, She Is Me, was released September 2015 on Friends Records, and was recorded and engineered by drummer Greg Hatem, a Berklee music engineering graduate. The album was mastered by Mickey Freeland.
Their newest record, Mirror To Make You, dropped in June 2017 on Friends Records. Recorded at B.C. Studios in New York with Martin Bisi, and mixed by veteran engineer Rob Girardi at Wrightway Studios, the album was mastered by Sarah Register, and features artwork from Nolen Strals.
Natural Velvet is hard at work on new material and touring throughout.
Some quotes on the band & sound:
“Guitars scream and twist like dancing banshees around a persistent bass slither. Corynne’s voice teeters in the maelstrom between a too-cool indifference and lilting waivers that bring to mind Lou Reed... if he were a woman… The songs move forward at their own pace, which might sound akin to a stagger down a long and dimly lit hallway. Whether it's drawing inspiration from alien films or experimenting with feedback manipulation, the band members aren't afraid to take chances.” – Zach Schepis, BreakThru Radio
“Call it music; call it art; call it whatever you want, but it fucking rules.” — Melissa Caruso and Kevin Korber, Elmore Magazine
“This Baltimore-based shoegaze four-piece is known for loudness and intensity, weaponizing intimate pop hooks with dark tones, piling on distortion and overdrive to make instruments sound like they’re being pushed to their limit.”—Nina Mashurova, Impose Magazine