Put Your Records On: Natalie Imbruglia’s ‘White Lilies Island’

Welcome to Put Your Records On, where music enthusiasts dive in to the stories behind the records that have shaped them into the people they are today. Join the group here and tell us your story!

When I call myself a music nerd, I mean it in the most literal sense. I can tell you when every album in my music collection was released, where I bought it and how I was feeling at the time. After hearing Natalie Imbruglia’s “Wrong Impression” in late 2001, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her sophomore album, White Lilies Island. The internet wasn’t established enough in 2002 to allow me to stream it in all it’s glory, so I had to wait until it’s US release date. March 5 has turned into a White Lilies Island listening party tradition for me for the past 12 years and every time I listen to it, I find new things I never discovered before, not only in myself but in an album as a whole.

Written while Imbruglia was battling depression, White Lilies Island continues to show me that storms do indeed come to pass and it doesn’t hurt to use those storms to spark your creativity. When I bought this album, I had no idea what depression felt like. I was one year away from finding out, and I thank Natalie for giving me a heads up and something to cling to at night when I felt like I was the only one.

The album starts off with my favorite track, “That Day.” I seem to go back to this song every time I’m pulling myself out of a rut. Originally titled “Moment of Clarity,” Imbruglia touches on the subject of having that one day when it all just starts to make sense, and how it’s okay to feel and crave everything at once. “I accept everything. It’s supposed to be like this.” “Craving purity, a fragile mind and a gentle spirit.” “That Day” sets the tone for the entire record by expressing the notion of ‘okay, this is how I feel at the moment, but keep listening as I hash out everything I’ve been through to get here.’

“Beauty On The Fire” has always held a special place in my heart. I never quite grasped the concept of the song at 14, but now I can’t seem to escape it. “Tonight, could I be lost forever? To drown my soul in sensory pleasure.”

“Do You Love?,” “Goodbye,” and “Butterflies” pour on the haunting melodies and ever-flowing sadness. I think “Goodbye” and “Butterflies” were over-played a bit too much for me in my teens. Their themes always seem to come crawling back, which make them timeless. “But I’ll probably be fine, as long as I keep moving.” “Sickened by the wanting and drowning from the need.” “My heart will be the bridge that you walk over.”

“Hurricane” explains everything that has happened to me over the past three and a half years so perfectly. “It picked me like a cherry, and I don’t understand.” We often ask, “why me?” but sometimes it’s better to just go with it and pray for the best. “Everything Goes” reminds me of a special person who sees the world through diamond eyes and has made mine a whole lot brighter thanks to divine intervention. “I bet you smile in your sleep. Are you smiling at me?”

“Sunlight,” like “That Day,” is WLI’s breakthrough song. “Have you ever felt sunlight on your face? Did you ever truly live?”

The album’s final track, “Come September” has a romantic, brighter-days-are-on-the-horizon feel that we all need sometimes to get by. Being born in September, I can relate tremendously to “everything wrong, gonna be alright, come September.” There’s just something so comforting about new Septembers on the horizon. Just hold tight and breathe.

Stream White Lilies Island below in all it’s glory and create your own story. ♥