by Kristie Bertucci // Photography by Daniel Sanwald
In a vast sea of wannabe pop artists, it can be hard to weed out the crap. But once you hear the vocals of The Good Natured’s Sarah McIntosh on single “Skeleton” (also the name of their EP), you’ll automatically realize that you’ve found a musical gem. Her sultry voice with a hint of angst captures your attention, while the dizzying and catchy beats embed themselves in your memory.
The U.K. exported band has landed on American shores with the release of its EP this fall, and the trio is ready to show just how “good natured” they are, especially when it comes to music. Comprised of singer-songwriter/frontwoman McIntosh, her brother Hamish and drummer George Hinton, The Good Natured is quite new to the scene, but is quickly making their rounds across the globe, gaining new fans with every club or festival performance.
Even with pop music at its heart, McIntosh is providing her own spin on the popular genre to make it more personal to the group. “I just think the fact that our lyrics are really meaningful and really mean something to me makes our music extend the limits of what pop music is and how it’s understood,” she explains. “My lyrics give more than what usual pop music gives. I like to say that our music is pop trying to break the mold by having meaning and influence behind it. When it needs to be defined, it’s synth-pop with a gothic, darker twist to it…”
With its name derived from an early McIntosh song lyric, The Good Natured defies pop standards with its dark and edgy synth-pop notes that provide a dark and gothic ambience. Heavily influenced by The Cure, Depeche Mode, Siouxsie and the Banshees and other old records she’d take from her parents’ stash of vinyl, the singer acknowledges the darker tones, but says they’re not placed intentionally. “Since I write what I feel, it may be darker at times if I’m sad or something, but I’m not trying to make it sound dark or anything. The songs I write reflect what I’m going through at the moment or how I’m feeling, so it can change quite often.”
As the brainchild of The Good Natured, McIntosh’s musical career began as a young girl when she took up interest in various instruments and started taking notice of her parents’ old records. By the time she was 15, she could play the violin, drums and more and started to dabble in songwriting. At 17, she played in a few bands before going off to university, where she discovered music was her passion and ultimate career goal.
“I didn’t want to learn how to be in the music industry by sitting in lectures and wanted to get hands-on experience,” she explains on her decision to leave school after only three months. But while at school, she met her drummer, George Hinton and decided to ask her brother to join the band since he played bass.
While it’s definitely been a rollercoaster ride in the journey to success, McIntosh hasn’t minded taking all the risks needed to get the band’s name out. And with rave reviews coming from all ends of the globe, The Good Natured are gearing up for huge things in 2012. “This EP is just the beginning. It’s an introduction to what we’re about and a taste of our music. Right now, I’m writing new songs and getting ready to make more music in addition to doing more live shows.”