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NATALIE PRASS

Natalie Prass had her new album written, her band ready, the recording studio booked. Then the 2016 election happened, and out of her despair and disappointment in those results came an impulse she could not ignore: she rewrote the album to reflect these swirling emotions. The result is ‘The Future and The Past’ a stunning snapshot of a musician in a state of personal rediscovery and surging femininity. The celebratory and defiant ‘The Future and The Past’ also signals a significant artistic leap for Prass on the heels of her 2015 breakthrough debut album. It finds Prass tapping into deep, dancey grooves that glisten with 80s pop and 90s R&B, nestled alongside quivering, lushly orchestrated ballads.

Like her debut album, Prass made ‘The Future and The Past’ in Richmond, VA with long-time friend and collaborator Matthew E. White at his Spacebomb Studios. She added some new collaborations to the mix as well: Blue (Solange’s ‘A Seat At The Table,’ Blood Orange, Carly Rae Jepsen) and Michael Brauer (Elle King and James Bay). ‘Future’ is ripe with string orchestrations and piano flourishes, snaking synth lines and fuzzed out guitars.

‘The Future And The Past’ is bursting with a myriad of grooves and Natalie’s vocals float on top, light as a feather and tough as nails. “Short Court Style” dials the tempo into 90s R&B territory – punctuated by handclaps, sampled “woos,” and a Dr. Dre-esque whistling synth line. Lyrically she wields a sharp knife as well. The love torn “Lost” begins with: “Turn up the fader, its like a lightning bolt / we can’t be saved, so now I’m listening on my own / Once there was a time when you had me hypnotized / you realized that your finger prints were on my bones.” Funky feminist anthem “Sisters” is an empowering rallying cry: “I want to say it loud / for all the ones held down / we gotta change the plan.”

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: A brilliantly smooth set of low-key soul, funky synth-pop and swooning groove-led summer anthems. Prass' perfectly emotive vox offset the choppy funk with aplomb, accentuating the groove and leading us through her latest opus. Superb.

TRACK LISTING

1. Oh My
2. Short Court Style
3. Interlude: Your Fire
4. The Fire
5. Hot For The Mountain
6. Lost
7. Sisters
8. Never Too Late
9. Ship Go Down
10. Nothing To Say
11. Far From You
12. Ain't Nobody

Natalie Prass is the kind of artist Spacebomb was created for - a songwriter’s songwriter and performer’s performer blessed with a golden voice and universal appeal - a singer who understands the vision and brings an undeniable talent to the process. She’s a joy for any listener to discover - a lover and a fighter and old-soul trader in genuine energy, aiming straight for the heart. Prass turns a sly eye to the pageantry of emotion, the drama of love and the mysteries of everyday life with a disarming mixture of sincerity and cosmic insolence, unapologetically romantic, spinning golden threads of lyric and melody, each inflection and melisma planned and considered, each word tailored for meaning and effect-the pop gesture as artform. She delivers it all with carefree charm and nearly divine intuition. Her voice, at times so ethereal, is shot through by strength and sinew and just a hint of transient grit. The feeling is soft, but it cuts so deep, leaving any listener with a trace of a soul, thunderstruck and enchanted.

Born in Cleveland, in the heart of the 1980s, Prass entered the teenage slipstream back on the east coast, past the haunted houses, surf shops, and burger joints of Virginia Beach, a mid-tier, rough-around-the-edges resort town. There is an inevitability to every biography, a myriad of strange narrative palm lines that twist and intersect, and she followed hers bravely to a seam of alternative beach culture, living close to the Atlantic Ocean but studying a less bronzed way of life. With her pet bird on her shoulder, she took intensive music and visual art courses all through high school. Going to a good music school was the next logical step, but after a year in cold, snowy Boston, Prass dropped out of Berklee and returned to the beach. She spent a spell working and playing shows in boardwalk clubs before moving out to Nashville where she has spent close to the last decade developing her craft, collaborating with some of the better characters on the edges of Music City culture, building a reputation with her radiant voice, unique performances, and for being a bit of an iconoclast. Prass has carefully avoided the glossy singer-songwriter scene, reaching for something more interesting, more exciting. For her debut performance at Nashville’s storied Ryman Auditorium, she surprised fans by pulling off a guileless reggae set in front of an Isaac Hayes poster she had displayed behind her band.

When the time came to record a full length, Prass returned to Virginia to work with Spacebomb Records, a label able to realize big visions and lush productions within the rustic charm of its attic studio. The match made sense musically and her ties to Matthew E. White go back to playing in rock bands in their high school days. The two worked together, selecting nine tracks to run through Spacebomb’s creative machine. With hard work and the alchemy of circumstance, they crafted an unassuming masterpiece-a real stunner that sounds both thoroughly out-of-time and impossibly fresh.

Prass is a powerful, beguiling performer and cunning pop composer-one for the moment and one for the ages.

TRACK LISTING

1. My Baby Don't Understand Me
2. Bird Of Prey
3. Your Fool
4. Christy
5. Why Don't You Believe In Me
6. Violently
7. Never Over You
8. Reprise
9. It Is You


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