Don’t You Dare Sing an Off-Key Version of Happy Birthday to Natalia Kills at 'Perfectionist' Release Party
(Natalia Kills at Splash; photo Santiago Felipe)
Natalia Kills and her oft-described "fuck you pop" took New York by storm this week, which, by the way, shouldn't come as a shock for those of you who've followed the last year in the life of the dark pop princess. (Newsflash: she's opened for the likes of Robyn, Ke$ha, Kelis and released a self-directed music videos in which she's wielding axes while rocking towering pumps and being beheaded in her Jeremy Scott.) But the Kills-fest was especially debaucherous at last night’s release party for her new album, Perfectionist, at the Atlas New York rooftop.
The provocateur's full-length debut is stuffed with shadowy, shimmering goth pop with topics ranging from killing asshole boyfriends to emancipation-inducing shop-a-thons. A gay can relate, girl, so it's good that Kills knows her audience. Last weekend she performed a late-night set to a jam-packed Splash (with an earlier set at Webster Hall). The stunning chanteuse and her ferocious duo of dancers powered through a dizzying three-song set including her current will.i.am-assisted pop gem, "Free". Following the insane post-show shrieks from the crowd, Dougie Meyer brought Kills back on stage, presenting her with a cake for her 25th birthday. The slurred, off-key Happy Birthday wasn't cutting it for Kills, and she grabbed the mic and riffed out "Happy Birthday to me!" (Holy diva!) "It was actually my favorite club experience I've ever had. The energy was fantastic," Kills recalled at last night's party, admitting it was the true treat of her birthday week.
The intimate shin-dig consisted mostly cocktail-sipping press-types. Of course, there were a handful of Natalia uber-fans who she extended an invitation, one notably rocking a day-old tattoo of Natalia's signature. After the crowd boozed for about an hour while Perfectionist blasted out into the Manhattan skyline, Cherrytree Records' founder and pop songwriter extraordinaire Martin Kierszenbaum welcomed Kills to the stage. The pint-sized pop star stepped behind her microphone stand—sans dancers—and took it back to the basics, stripping down her five-song set to just a keyboardist and her impressive pipes. Personal highlights included her soulful, cheeky rendition of the no-description-necessary "Kill My Boyfriend" (which should totally be her next single) and a beautifully-gutting ballad version of the Akon-produced "Mirrors."
Even when describing how love often feel like a suicide, her non-programmed banter was adorably perfect. In a world of heavy-on-auto-tune, little-on-substance pop starlets, Kills is keeping it real. There's no such thing as holding back for the girl: Is she yay for gay marriage? "Absolutely. I feel like everyone should have a shot at misery and everyone should have a shot at happiness." It doesn't hurt that she hearts the gays, too. "I love my gay fans and they are particularly loyal to me. I feel like my gay fans have the freedom to be as opinionated and as honest as they want to be,” said Kills, backstage after blowing out yet another plethora of birthday candles. “When I make very abrupt, cut-throat messages and emotional music, they understand it; they have a good observation of my lyrics and my messages. I feel like that's why we have a particular bond. We have a lot in common.”