This week’s ‘Album of the Week’, Natalie Prass’ eponymously titled LP, is the latest release from the awesome Spacebomb record label. Founded by Matthew E. White and friends in Richmond, Virginia, Spacembomb emulates Muscle Shoals by using a house band, replete with horn section, on every record. It produces a fantastic and immediately associative sound, that means that fans of ‘Big Inner’, like yours truly, hug Natalie Prass’ album like an old friend straight from the first listen.
The stand-out track is undoubtedly the opener – ‘My Baby Don’t Understand Me’, with its’ powerful, repetitive lament that “Our love is a long goodbye”. Prass has a stunning voice and I’m looking forward to her perform it at the Islington Assembly Rooms in June, because I reckon it will be a belter on stage. It will also be intriguing to see what else Prass throws into the live show, given that her publicity advises that “for her debut performance at Nashville’s storied Ryman Auditorium, she surprised fans by pulling off a guileless reggae set in front of an Isaac Hayes poster she had displayed behind her band.”
‘Chrsity’ doesn’t quite pass the Bob Dylan test (judge the quality of an album by listenting to track four), but overall this is a cracking debut and another triumph for Spacebomb. And I reckon my stage-musical-loving Dad will enjoy the closing ballad, ‘It is you’.