Natalie Prass
Natalie Prass

Stroll up to that jewelry store shimmering on a hot Virginia night, under the neon “Spacebomb” sign and take a look at the latest gem–glowing, sparkling, radiant with light. Natalie Prass is the sound of an artist and community working together, replete with lightning-in-a-bottle chemistry, soaked with the same sweet perspiration and small-town spirit that ran through Memphis, New Orleans and Muscle Shoals. It is both an utterly timeless and perfectly timed affair. Using the experience from producing Matthew E. White’s Big Inner, Spacebomb joined forces with a true kindred spirit–Nashville singer and songwriter Natalie Prass–to travel deeper into its universe of sound. The sheer quality of her voice and songs gave collaborators the freedom to push their craft to the limit: Trey Pollard’s gorgeous, technicolor strings rising from the coastal plain; White’s muscular R&B horn signatures driving and complicating the dance; everything locked down to the rhythm section of Cameron Ralston and Pinson Chanselle riding a supernatural groove. Natalie Prass is a thoughtful collection of music, nourished by reverence for past eras of big band and jazz and infused with the crisp detail of late 70s & early 80s R&B, a diamond for everyone, a sophisticated soul-pop triumph.

“Bird of Prey” kicks it off with that silky and propulsive beat. Prass delivers the goods, balancing an infectious hook and calmly observed feelings as flutes dive and weave between muted horns, a rolling tack piano courtesy of Daniel Clarke (k.d. lang, Ryan Adams) underpinning the beat. This track makes a confident assertion that southern soul is not gone or lost, or confined to retro gestures. Funky horns, gutsy guitar lines and murmuring flutes in “Why Don’t You Believe In Me” connect with the song’s wry internal monologue, sine wave needles of feedback penetrating the mix in counterpoint to an overall controlled elegance. “Violently” riffs off expectations for gentle ballads with its raw take on the intensity of desire. Vocally inspired by Diana Ross, conveying both softness and strength–a litheness and brightness, Prass has the ability to express the full spectrum of emotion and drift further into shades unknown. During “My Baby Don’t Understand Me,” she sings of the world crumbling while horns sashay into fanfare, the arrangement getting impossibly big but never losing the groove, staying balanced, dropping down to a piano lick, then returning with force–with power. As a songwriter, Prass has that rare ability to compose in her own distinct voice and still sound immediately classic.

The graceful “It Is You” closes out the album in style, the spirit of Harry Nilsson strolling in a sentimental mood through colorful fields of sound. Pollard distills his strings to their highest proof: intoxicating, sweet and lush, then fading down to a perfect sigh of dissonance. Natalie Prass consistently achieves those moments of “shared recognition,” when certain elements, a nuance of arrangement or the emotional weight of a lyric, unite to create astonishing richness and depth. This artist and this record reach Spacebomb’s vision of intensely personal, well-crafted regional music, a new music that has global reach and appeal. It wouldn’t sound the same coming from anywhere else, New York, Chicago, L.A. or even Philly; the pace is unique–pure central Virginia time, bound up in the tight harmony of community, its energy captured and released in the vibrant, effortless sound of Natalie Prass.


Best New Music — Pitchfork

“Stunning” — Stereogum

“This is a record that never feels retro, just timeless” (5 Stars) — The Guardian

“Beautiful, time-tested fairytale” — Grantland

“Sumptuous country-soul classic” (4 Stars) — UNCUT

“Charmingly delicate pop music akin to Eleanor Friedberger or Feist” — NME

“Stunning” — The Sunday Times

“Frank, intimate… merits a close listen” — CBC Music

“The one to watch in 2015” — Q Magazine

“Sublime debut” — MOJO

Natalie Prass is an expertly sequenced and executed work that transforms decades of American music tradition into something relevant to the 21st century….spectacular” (A-) — Consequence of Sound



01. My Baby Don't Understand Me
02. Bird of Prey
03. Your Fool
04. Christy

05. Why Don't You Believe In Me
06. Violently
07. Never Over You
08. Reprise
09. It Is You

33rpm LP Vinyl
CD Mini-Gatefold
Release date: January 26/27, 2015
With StarTime International (US/Canada)

Buy (CD/LP)
Buy (MP3)

01. My Baby Don't Understand Me - 05:12
Written by Natalie Prass & Peter Barbee
02. Bird of Prey - 05:22
Written by Prass & Kyle Ryan
03. Your Fool - 03:16
Written by Prass & Ryan
04. Christy - 03:53
Written by Prass, Ryan & Evan Donohue

05. Why Don't You Believe In Me - 03:55
Written by Prass, Ryan & Jabe Beyer
06. Violently - 05:45
Written by Prass
07. Never Over You - 03:59
Written by Prass & Ryan
08. Reprise - 03:44
Written by Prass & Ryan
09. It Is You - 04:01
Written by Prass & Ryan

Natalie Prass, vocals

Rhythm Section
Pinson Chanselle, drums and percussion
Cameron Ralston, bass
Matthew E. White, guitars
Trey Pollard, pedal steel guitar
Daniel Clarke, piano

The Spacebomb Horns
Bob Miller, trumpet; Marcus Tenney, trumpet; Reggie Pace, trombone; Bryan Hooten, trombone; Reggie Chapman, bass trombone; Marcus Redden, french horn; Jason Scott, tenor saxophone, flute, clarinet; John Lilley, tenor saxophone, clarinet; JC Kuhl, tenor & baritone saxophone, flute; Venessa Lopez, flute; Lauren Serpa, flute

The Spacebomb Strings
Katie Wooldridge, violin; Faith Hofma, violin; Jessica Blanks, violin; Melissa Sunderland Jones, violin; Anna Bishop, violin; Garrett Pederson, viola; Matt Jewell, viola; Amber Blankenship, cello; Naomi Steckman, cello; Stephanie Barrett, cello

Keety Dolfe, harp
Matt Coyle, vibraphone
Giustino Riccio, congas

Horns Arranged by Matthew E. White (except It Is You)
Strings Arranged and Conducted by Trey Pollard
Horns Arranged (It Is You) by Pollard

A Spacebomb Production
Produced by Matthew E. White
Co-Produced by Trey Pollard
Engineered and Mixed by Trey Pollard at Spacebomb Studios, Richmond, VA
Mastered by Gene Paul at G&J Audio

Photography by Sam Dixon
Design by Joel Speasmaker, Travis Robertson, and Erica Prince

Copyright 2014-2015 Spacebomb Records. All Rights Reserved.