Arts and Entertainment

Gelman set to sing at SoulFood Books in Redmond

Natalie Gelman - Courtesy of Chris Zedano
Natalie Gelman
— image credit: Courtesy of Chris Zedano

A dead car battery.

A busted cell phone.

Natalie Gelman probably didn't expect her song "Laugh So Hard You Cry" to be the soundtrack to those unfortunate happenings, but she really had no choice in the matter on a recent tour stop in Fresno, Calif.

After finishing up a gig at the local university, the 27-year-old singer-songwriter set her guitar aside and retired to her Toyota for a nap before making the drive to a television station for an appearance.

She soon discovered that her car battery was kaput. When AAA finally arrived and helped her on her way to the KSEE 24 studio, she dropped her phone on the ground and it broke.

"And then it clicked. In that moment, I'm doing the best I can. I think a lot of us need to remind ourselves to stay with it a little longer — just push through," said Gelman, noting that she used the dire Fresno scenario to motivate and re-energize herself to put on a solid performance in front of the TV cameras.

"I found a new meaning (to the song) — everything came through," she said with a laugh.

Gelman will be cruising in her Toyota toward Redmond over the next few days for a gig at SoulFood Books at 7 p.m. on Thursday. She'll first make stops for shows in Portland and Ellensburg on Tuesday and Wednesday before entertaining the Redmond crowd with her mix of folk/pop/rock tunes.

Gelman got her musical start at age 16 as a busker in New York City and now lives in Ojai, Calif., which she describes as a "mellow" city, a far cry from the hustle and bustle of her former residence.

Her new six-song EP, "Streetlamp Musician," is set for a May 14 release and she's excited to bring her recent batch of songs to audiences. She spent a lot of time poring over her personal, honest lyrics and the producers brought her voice front and center to match the concert atmosphere.

"It's therapeutic, it's psychological," she said of the songwriting process.

When she performs live, Gelman aims to get the audience singing and dancing.

"The goal is to have a good time," she said. "To have some moments when the music kind of helps them."

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