Today, Natalie Bergman announces the release of Mercy, her debut solo album out May 7 on Third Man Records. Self-produced, performed and mixed in near-solitude, the twelve-song set takes a spellbinding step into Bergman’s singular world of sound, spirituality and the search for hope during tragic times. The journey began in October 2019; until then, she had been on tour since the age of 14. She spent the better part of the past decade singing lead alongside her brother Elliot Bergman in their duo Wild Belle, but the night she was about to hit the stage at Radio City Music Hall, her life changed. A coroner called with news that their father and stepmother had been killed by a drunk driver.
Music and faith have always been at the forefront of the Bergman family, and rather than crawl into a cave of darkness and dread, Natalie decided to spend many days in silence at a monastery in the Chama Valley. It was there she learned she would embark on
Mercy, and as she began writing and recording, the collection of songs channeled her cathartic reverence for traditional gospel music - in her words, the true source of rock and roll.
Throughout her years in Wild Belle, the LA-based, Chicago-bred Natalie Bergman has collaborated with the likes of Elvis Costello, Major Lazer and Tom Tom Club, opened for Beck, Cage The Elephant and Toro y Moi, played Coachella, The Tonight Show and more. On
Mercy, her sweeping spectrum of creativity is finally on full display, from the three-dimensional artwork seen in “Talk To The Lord,” to her striking sense of style and the best songs she says she’s ever written. Natalie adds:
“My faith and my music are crucial to my existence. I sing a lot about home on this record. My Paradiso, my Heaven. Believing in that place has been my greatest consolation. I had an urgency and desperation to know that my father was there. His sudden death was a whirling chaos that assaulted my mind. Gospel music gives me hope. It is the good news. It’s exemplary. It can bring you truth. It can keep you alive. This album provided me with my only hope for coming back to life myself.”
Mercy marks the first newly recorded gospel album to be released by Third Man Records. Helmed by Bergman’s heavenly voice, the music is steeped in mystic melodies, time-bending tones of psychedelic rock, soul and a spiritual healing that’s much-needed in the wake of 2020. Mercy was mastered by Warren Defever of His Name Is Alive, additional production comes from Elliot Bergman and Erik Hall, and vocal contributions include Elsa Harris and the Larry Landfair Singers, who Natalie sang with at her father’s funeral.
Watch a live rendition of the unreleased “I Will Praise You,” which MOJO calls weird and uplifting, “like a transcendent cult of Aimee Mann choir”
Pre-order Mercy here
Photo by Elliot Bergman
Talk To The Lord
Shine Your Light On Me
I Will Praise You
I’m Going Home
Home At Last
You Make My World Go Round
Paint The Rain
Your Love Is My Shelter
He Will Lift You Up Higher