In the process of writing and recording her new album, Richmond, Va.-based singer-songwriter Natalie Prass ran into what has become a familiar artistic roadblock nowadays: the 2016 election. Prass had her album written, her band assembled, her studio booked … and had to change course completely after you-know-who somehow came out on top.
The result was The Future and The Past, out on June 1 via ATO Records, the follow-up to Prass’ breakthrough, self-titled debut and her covers EP Side by Side, both released in 2015. Per a press release, the new album “finds Prass tapping into deep, dancey grooves that glisten with ‘80s pop and ‘90s R&B, nestled alongside quivering, lushly orchestrated ballads.” The first of those grooves is “Short Court Style,” the video for which debuts along with today’s announcement.
Directed by Prass herself and Erica Price, with Jethro Waters (Angel Olsen) as Director of Photography, the “Short Court Style” visual features a colorfully dressed Prass bringing jubilation to an otherwise-dreary park in her home state. She spins on a merry-go-round, performs with ribbon dancers and generally delights. “Short Court Style” itself is equally joyous: Prass offers figurative revolutions to match the video’s literal ones, singing, “Oh you spin me round / Round and round / Had ups and downs / No but I can’t be without / My love that I have found.” The song’s buoyant groove makes for a slick and spirited showcase of Prass’ exquisite vocals, emphasizing her R&B leanings in irresistible fashion.
Prass recalls the rocky road that led to her uplifting new album:
The record was ready to go, and then the election happened. 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.
Prass recorded and mixed the majority of The Future and The Past with long-time collaborator Matthew E. White and Adrian Olsen at Montrose Recording in Richmond, teaming up with artists including Blue (Solange’s A Seat At The Table, Blood Orange, Carly Rae Jepsen) and Michael Brauer (Elle King and James Bay).
Prass will tour throughout 2018 in support of her new album, with a March run alongside Fleet Foxes on the books, as well as headlining shows in Los Angeles, New York City and her hometown of Richmond. Her full tour slate is included below.
Watch the “Short Court Style” video and listen to Prass’ 2012 Daytrotter Session below. Further down, find her tour dates, along with The Future and The Past’s tracklist and album art. You can preorder the album here.
The Future and The Past Tracklist:
01. Oh My
02. Short Court Style
03. Interlude: Your Fire
04. The Fire
05. Hot for the Mountain
08. Never Too Late
09. Ship Go Down
10. Nothing To Say
11. Far From You
12. Ain’t Nobody
The Future and The Past Album Art:
Natalie Prass Tour Dates:
01 – Tampa, Fla. @ Ritz Ybor *
02 – St. Augustine, Fla. @ St. Augustine Amphitheatre*
03 – Orlando, Fla. @ House of Blues *
04 – Miami Beach, Fla. @ Fillmore Miami Beach @ Jackie Gleason Theater *
06 – Charleston, S.C. @ North Charleston Performing Arts Center *
07 – Charlotte, N.C. @ Fillmore Charlotte *
09 – Jackson, Miss. @ Thalia Mara Hall *
10 – Memphis, Tenn. @ Cannon Center for Performing Arts *
11 – Mobile, Ala. @ Soul Kitchen *
12 – New Orleans, La. @ Orpheum Theater *
14-16 – Austin, Texas @ SXSW
20 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Moroccan Lounge
21 – Rotterdam, Netherlands @ Motel Mozaique Festival
22 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso
23 – London, U.K. @ Bush Hall
26 – Brighton, U.K. @ Bau Wow
27 – Manchester, U.K. @ Band on the Wall
28 – Birmingham, U.K. @ Hare & Hounds
29 – Glasgow, U.K. @ Mono
01 – New York, N.Y. @ Rough Trade
02 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Johnny Brenda’s
03 – Richmond, Va. @ Broadberry
(* – w/ Fleet Foxes)