Record of the Week: Natalie Prass (Self Titled)
Following on from last weeks record review post, today I'm going to talk about the second of Adrian's picks: Natalie Prass.
I've heard of this artist before, I think there has been quite a bit of hype surrounding her album and I'm sure I've seen her mentioned as 'one to watch' in the culture section of Elle magazine. She's a rather gorgeous 28 year old American singer-songwriter (naturally) who has a touch of Lou Douillon about her, which makes me like her even more.
According to music website Pitchfork she 'weathers heartbreak while backed by lush arrangements that recall the orchestrated, soulful pop of the 1970s' and I would have to say that this sentence is a very good surmise of the album (which is why I don't write music reviews.) Basically, she has a very lovely voice, which, on listening, reminded me somewhat of Disney, once intertwined with the twinkly orchestral surroundings, a fact I would probably not have mentioned apart from further investigation of her Pitchfork interview/review uncovering the same thing (read here.) It sounds like a rather more heartbroken version of Disney, though; and all the better for it; no listless princesses here, rather more a bootstrapping version who has hitched up her skirts and gone off to find her man. There is sadness, yes, but not weakness.
The album definitely smacks of times gone by; again referencing Pitchfork (until I can confidently comment on music without fear of reprisals due to my lack of knowledge) one of her songs is likened to the 'love triangle' of Dolly Parton's 'Jolene.' There is a sense of this, and also a touch of June Carter in the way her vocals range from delicate to forceful. The album is equally wistful and accepting, and I think this is a potent mixture. My favourite track is the swooping 'Violently' which is certainly not as agressive as the title would suggest.
The album artwork is less symbolic, in my opinion, than the Grouper effort of last week but I did appreciate the sentiment, of course she is incredibly striking and her sublime beauty is only enhanced by a floral overlay on the album sleeve. It has a slightly Seventies, sun-washed look to it and definitely (to me) highlights her aesthetic.
Word to best describe this album: Enchanting
Will I put it on my iPod? Yes