New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
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' (ATO Records/June 1), 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.
It was directed by Natalie
Prass and Erica Prince
with Jethro Waters as Director
of Photography (Angel Olsen's 'Shut Up and Kiss Me video)
"The record was ready to go, and then the election happened," explains Prass. "I was devastated. It made me question what it means to be a woman in America, whether any of the things I thought were getting better were actually improving, who I am and what I believe in. I knew I would be so upset with myself if I didn't take the opportunity to say some of the things that meant so much to me, so I decided to rewrite the record. I needed to make an album that was going to get me out of my funk, one that would hopefully lift other people out of theirs, too, because that's what music is all about."
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.
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."
Natalie's 2015 self-titled debut earned raves from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork (Best New Music), The New Yorker, NPR, and more. She played Bonnaroo, toured with Fleet Foxes
and War on Drugs, and appeared on HBO's Vinyl (as Karen
Carpenter), Jools Holland
and CBS Saturday.
She will be touring through 2018 including a March run with Fleet Foxes
before headlining shows in Los Angeles, New York and a hometown show in Richmond, VA.
Pre-order the album.
TRACKLIST FOR 'THE FUTURE AND THE PAST':
Short Court Style
Interlude: Your Fire
Hot for the Mountain
Never Too Late
Ship Go Down
Nothing To Say
Far From You
March 1 - Tampa, FL - Ritz Ybor *
March 2 - St. Augustine, FL - St. Augustine Amphitheatre*
March 3 - Orlando, FL - House of Blues *
March 4 - Miami Beach, FL - Fillmore Miami Beach @ Jackie Gleason Theater *
March 6 - Charleston, SC - North Charleston Performing Arts Center *
March 7 - Charlotte, NC - Fillmore Charlotte
March 9 - Jackson, MS - Thalia
Mara Hall *
March 10 - Memphis, TN - Cannon Center for Performing Arts *
March 11 - Mobile, AL - Soul Kitchen *
March 12 - New Orleans, LA - Orpheum Theater *
March 14-16 - Austin, TX - SXSW
March 20 - Los Angeles, CA - Moroccan Lounge
April 21 - Rotterdam, NL - Motel Mozaique Festival
April 22 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso
April 23 - London, UK - Bush Hall
April 26 - Brighton, UK - Bau Wow
April 27 - Manchester, UK - Band on the Wall
April 28 - Birmingham, UK - Hare & Hounds
April 29 - Glasgow, UK - Mono
June 1 - New York, NY - Rough Trade
June 2 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
June 3 - Richmond, VA - Broadberry
* - w/Fleet Foxes