Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Natalie Prass shares Janet Jackson cover; Matthew E. White-produced LP out early 2015

“Natalie Prass charms” - A.V. Club
"Fantastic," “2014 Ultimate Summer Jam” - UNCUT
“Charmingly delicate pop music akin to Eleanor Friedberger or Feist” - NME

Natalie Prass shares Janet Jackson cover off "Bird of Prey" single

Matthew E. White-produced LP due early 2015 on
Spacebomb Records

Touring as a member of Jenny Lewis' band; featured on two tracks of Gaslight Anthem's new LP


LISTEN: "Any Time, Any Place"
WATCH: "Bird of Prey"

On "Any Time, Any Place," the B-side to her recently premiered "Bird of Prey" single, Natalie Prass pays respect to Janet (and Kendrick) with a pitch-perfect take on the get-it-on-now-immediately-and-in-public modern R&B classic. An assured, joyful, undeniably sexy cover, this Trey Pollard (a central figure at Spacebomb) production is a little more wow and flutter than the shimmer and click of Jam & Lewis, but Spacebomb’s house band keeps the smooth energy of the original, cutting it with the casual pleasure of a late night session. Miss Prass gives Miss Jackson’s canonical vocals her own sweet agenda–nuanced tension and detailed urgency–all elements vibrating together at the sultry speed of Spacebomb.
Click here or below for "Bird of Prey" behind the scenes:
A songwriter’s songwriter and performer’s performer blessed with a golden voice and universal appeal, Natalie Prass is the kind of artist Spacebomb was created for–one 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 on 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 creatively 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 their early days of playing in rock bands in high school. 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.

Photo: Chad Davis

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