Release Date: Jun 1, 2018
Record label: Caroline
The Future and the Past, finds her in full on indie label territory, on New York-based ATO. The Future and the Past, fittingly, celebrates the best of both worlds and sees Prass pay homage to her quirky, cutesy, fragile roots but in a framework that is more robust, more transient and, ultimately, more satisfying. One of the most immaculate things about her debut album was the depth of songwriting present on it.
Oh, you know it's crazy Oh it is so crazy, it's crazy Oh, it is crazy to see a ship go down Watching your country colossally shoot itself in the foot can precipitate a number of various reactions. Believe me, I'm British. Brexit is the equivalent of blowing one's own legs off with a sawn-off shotgun, and now I can't start the day without first emitting a monumental sigh of defeated despair.
To download, click "Share" and right-click the download icon | iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS The Lowdown: After America got the Bad Ending on its playthrough of the 2016 presidential election, Richmond singer-songwriter Natalie Prass scrapped the intended follow-up to her stunning 2015 debut in favor of a new collection of songs inspired in equal parts by feminine resilience and a box of Janet Jackson 45s. The Good: Once again partnering with producer Matthew E. White and his Spacebomb House Band, Prass ditches the delicate strings that made her indie famous in favor of muscular funk, disco, and R&B influences that recall everyone from Chic to the Bee Gees.
In the aftermath of the 2016 election, as nauseating improbability hardened into a reality, Natalie Prass found herself sitting on an album's worth of songs that felt entirely wrong. Some artists who shared her frustrations were quick to express them in the moment. Setting aside the compositions she had imagined would make up her sophomore album, Prass, too, was determined to respond to Trump.
There are no set rules about how ‘conscious’ music is supposed to sound in 2018. The press kit for the new Natalie Prass record The Future And The Past mentions how relevant the themes therein are to modern audiences: issues surrounding womanhood and femininity are almost constantly in the news and all over social media. So the story goes that Prass' new record is a celebration of femininity and womanhood - a true, joyous celebration.
Natalie Prass' second album pairs the sharp and the smooth, its keenly observed lyrics about love and politics grounded in arrangements that recall soft-pop highlights from the past four decades. The Future and the Past is a modern echo of that moment when soft rock and Quiet Storm fed off each other - the plush yet firm yacht-y early-'80s keyboards on the wide-eyed "The Fire," simmering counterpoint bass on "Never Too Late," and the tinkling pianos and swooping strings of the weightless-sounding yet troubled "Far From You. " "Short Court Style" sums up this cross-generational nostalgic vibe, evoking the Murder remix of J Lo's "I'm Real" as much as Rufus and Chaka's "Tell Me Something Good.
"My whole life I've been compared to Karen Carpenter, pretty much on looks alone," Natalie Prass said at a recent London gig. Towards the end of this album, she takes that comparison and turns it on its head. "Tell me why do birds / Do they suddenly disappear / Instead of singing here," she sings, aiming directly at The Carpenters' biggest hit. "Oh, what are we to do? / We can't believe it's true / We're so far from you." Words originally intended for an ex-lover become a way of playing with this role she's been assigned; it feels like a kind of manifesto.