|The Future and the Past (June 1st, 2018)|
Natalie Prass — The Future and the Past (June 1st, 2018)↓↓↓↓ ‘The Future and The Past’ is Natalie Prass’ sophomore LP, a stunning snapshot of a musician in a state of personal rediscovery and surging femininity. The celebratory and defiant record signals a significant artistic leap for Prass, finding her tapping into deep, dancey grooves that glisten with 80s pop and 90s R&B, nestled alongside quivering, lushly orchestrated ballads.
↓↓↓↓ Nashville~based singer~songwriter whose soulful, sophisticated pop style has drawn comparisons to artists like Dusty Springfield and Feist.
Born: March 15, 1986 in Cleveland, OH
Location: Richmond, VA
Styles: Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Pop
Album release: June 1st, 2018
Record Label: ATO Records
01. Oh My 3:15
02. Short Court Style 3:44
03. Interlude: Your Fire 0:33
04. The Fire 3:28
05. Hot For The Mountain 4:32
06. Lost 3:11
07. Sisters 4:36
08. Never Too Late 3:49
09. Ship Go Down 6:04
10. Nothing To Say 4:26
11. Far From You 3:34
12. Ain’t Nobody 4:20
Album Review by Harry Harris | 25 May 2018 | Score: ★★★★★
↓↓↓↓ On her new album, Natalie Prass beautifully channels a host of influences whilst feeling incredibly fresh.
↓↓↓↓ Sometimes when an artist comes out with a kind of knowing, retro sound, there’s a risk of them sounding like they’re looking backwards. Natalie Prass has almost exclusively been described in terms of those who have come before her. However, her eyes are fixed firmly forward and this record beautifully channels those influences whilst feeling incredibly fresh: The Future and the Past.
↓↓↓↓ When single Short Court Style dropped earlier this year, it marked a shift in sound from Prass’ debut — all whoops and sly, subtle guitar licks with sweet 70s piano pushing everything along, and Prass’ signature voice filling in the blanks. The song is not an anomaly on the record. Sisters has a similar groove, albeit with a more urgent, anthemic chorus, while Never Too Late leans into the jazz influences even further, showcasing just how good her band is, giving them room to flourish.
↓↓↓↓ Prass picks and chooses when these moments are allowed to happen. More often, she runs a tight ship; nothing feels out of place, and everything feels very considered. The Fire is probably one of the more conventional tracks on the record, but small vocal tweaks in the second verse and a gorgeous verse~chorus segue make it one of the highlights. Nothing To Say is another pared back affair, maybe unsurprising given it’s one of the record’s older cuts (you can find clips online of Prass playing it live as far back as 2012) — it’s basically a power ballad. Big, chunky piano chords and a coda that deserves to be sung along to with everything you have.
↓↓↓↓ You absolutely can hear the fingerprints of Prass’ influences across these tracks, but as well as the Dusty Springfield and Karen Carpenter tones that colour her first record, there’s bits of Dionne Warwick, Laura Nyro and Diana Ross. More than that though, you’re hearing a songwriter who seems to know exactly what she wants to make, and has all the tools to do that. A glorious, glorious album.
Listen to: Nothing To Say, The Fire, Sisters
by Olivia Horn, FEBRUARY 26 2018
Natalie Prass, “Short Court Style”
↓↓↓↓ Three years ago, Natalie Prass’ self~titled debut album appeared like a treasure trove. Gilded and ornate, laden with both R&B swagger and baroque pop embellishments, the Richmond, Virginia singer~songwriter’s breakout effort made a compelling case for her maximalist songwriting. But a lot has happened since 2015, and these days, things are looking less shiny. Prass had already written her sophomore album when, in November 2016, election results compelled her to scrap it and start fresh. “Short Court Style” is the first single from her rewritten album, The Future and the Past, and it pulses with a new energy and directness.
↓↓↓↓ Fans of Prass’ debut should set aside expectations of that album’s abundant horns and strings — she’s nixed such florid touches on “Short Court Style.” Instead, the song’s texture is laid down by a deep~set bass groove, twinkly disco synth, and sampled “woo!”s that puncture every break. Prass rides a wave of ecstatic vocal harmonies in and out of the chorus, where she sings plainly about a love that conquers all. In the bridge, words escape her: “Ooh!” she repeats, propelled into the upper reaches of her range by escalating emotion. The revelrous funk~pop of “Short Court Style” isn’t necessarily what you would expect from the lead single of an album positioned in response to Trump~era politics. But there’s something striking about Prass’ choice here to protest hatred by championing love, and the straight~ahead language she uses to do it. As she wrote The Future and the Past, Prass felt particularly incensed by systematic silencing of female voices. She’s doing her part to push back, and as an expression of one woman’s unbridled feeling, “Short Court Style” is pretty impossible to tune out. ↓↓↓↓ https://pitchfork.com/
Caroline Sullivan, Tue 24 Apr 2018 11.52 BST
Natalie Prass review — fighting oppression with a charm offensive. Score: 4 out of 5 stars.
Bush Hall, London
↓↓↓↓ The Virginia songwriter has added funk and soul to her swooning ballads and 60s pop, fired up by ‘all the crap that’s going on in our country right now’.
↓↓↓↓ “My whole life I’ve been compared to Karen Carpenter, pretty much on looks alone,” says Natalie Prass, whose thick, dark fringe and fresh face do impart a passing resemblance to the late singer. “When I found out who she was, I became obsessed.” The extent of her obsession is made plain in the new song that follows, Far from You, a lovelorn response to the Carpenters’ Close to You. Although Prass, seated behind a keyboard for this number — she’s normally upright, often with a guitar — sings in a higher register, her purity of tone and perfect diction mirror Carpenter’s.
↓↓↓↓ Mostly, though, the Virginia~based songwriter sounds like herself during this show, the first of a tour promoting her second album, The Future and the Past. The forthcoming record has its work cut out for it; following up a critically adored debut would daunt anyone. Prass tackles that challenge by changing direction. Out, for the most part, goes string~filled, 60s~inspired lushness, and in come loping, bassy grooves that have her shuffle~dancing across the stage.
↓↓↓↓ Fired up by “all the crap that’s going on in our country right now”, she emphatically fills the show with new material. It counters oppression with optimism: if the ship of state is sinking, she’ll make sure all aboard are swaying, with Ship Go Down’s feathery funk, which builds into a guitar~storm (Prass and her great band kick ass when they have to). On , she delicately trills, “Come on, nasty women” over a soundbed of Muscle Shoals~style soul. Rapture greets older songs Bird of Prey and Your Fool, and it feels as if Prass, confronting wrong with charm and sterling musicianship, is on the verge of something bigger. ↓↓↓↓ https://www.theguardian.com/
|The Future and the Past (June 1st, 2018)|