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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, a stunning snapshot of a musician in a state of personal rediscovery and surging femininity. The celebratory and defiant collection also signals a significant artistic leap for Prass on the heels of her 2015 breakthrough debut. It finds Prass tapping into deep, dancey grooves that glisten with '80s pop and '90s R&B, nestled alongside quivering, lushly orchestrated ballads.
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). The Future and the Past is ripe with a myriad of grooves, string orchestrations, piano flourishes, snaking synth lines and fuzzed out guitars while 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 on the love torn "Lost" and the empowering feminist anthem "Sisters."