Natalie Prass spent her younger years near the water in a rough-around-the-edges resort in her hometown. Attending intensive music and art classes (with a pet bird perched on her shoulder) before a brief stint studying at Berklee in Boston, Prass eventually located in Nashville where she spent a decade honing her craft, before presenting her self-titled debut.
Prass recorded the album two years ago in Spacebomb – the studio that is building a reputation as the go-to venue for string and horn arrangements. In the meantime, she filled in time as a back up singer in the Jenny Lewis touring band, but this accomplished debut suggests she will be building a touring band of her own.
Heartbreak is a well travelled path for songwriters, yet Prass is armed with some fertile material here. Many of the songs were written with her now ex-partner who was also the protagonist in many of the tales. My Baby Don’t Understand Me is littered with horns and strings on the chorus with Prass’ crisp vocals stating repeatedly that ‘our love is a long goodbye’. Country and soul are melded together during Your Fool which is a fair reflection of where Prass is at her finest.
There is a timeless quality to Natalie Prass. The singer isn’t setting trends of breaking new ground with her first collection, but she does draw on all this is good about Muscle Shoals and drags it effortlessly into her own bust ups.