© 2024 The Duluth-Superior Area Educational Television Corporation (WDSE)

The North 103.3 FM is licensed to The Duluth-Superior Area Educational Television Corporation (WDSE)
Locally Curated. Community Owned.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

3/9 KUMD Album Review: Natalie Prass

Natalie Prass

Natalie Prass is a Disney princess. In her self-titled album, from top to bottom, Prass installs a revamped version of a Cinderella or an Ariel that on the surface seems cute, confused, and complicated.  She then complements this with a bluesy and ballsy elegance- not to be mistaken for the immaturity of a Disney princess.  

Lyrics like, “I wake up alone/ The nights keep getting harder/ Wanna call you but I don't/I want to be smarter/ Afraid to make my next move/ And it's bringing me down” (from "Why Don’t You Believe In Me") shows us that Prass is able to manipulate complication with a forceful confidence.  The result is an album that stands alone. 

Each song on the album is laced with soul that lacks from most other Disney princesses. Furthermore, she is not just a produced and programmed Snow White.  You can taste the essence of other soulful artist like, Billie Holiday, Leslie Gore, and other 40's and 50's female singers. Best examples of this would be in either the song “Christy” or “Violently”. 
Caroline Smith, Amy Winehouse, and Jenny Lewis are among the new wave of women who have remastered the strong damsel in distress look-a-like.  Prass achieves this as well, attaining soul with a soft touch to it. In the same way Dan Bodan claims that other artist don’t stay in touch with their soft sides, I feel like Prass would agree. Even if she doesn’t mean it to be soft, she does a good job doing so.  
Speaking of Jenny Lewis, Prass started out touring with Lewis, playing on keyboard.  Blossoming as an artist through two prior EPs, her new album gives them a run for their money. She channels Lewis in her 2009 EP, "Sweet and Small," which seemed to be her training bra into the 2011 release, "Sense of Transcendence".  This EP is the basecamp for what was to unfold. Back in 2011, she released “My Baby Don’t Understand Me” under the name “Long Goodbye” on Our Vinyl (music video platform). Now, in 2015, with producers Matthew E. White (a high school friend, who just released an album of his own) and Trey Pollard, the album comes to life, channeling her true artist identity backed by a band that wants to bring her sentiments to life. With her song, "It Is You" at the end of the album, she wraps you up in all of her princess facade, reminding us that we are all fluttering in love and we will each find true love. Isn’t that what good princesses do?

Related Artists | Billie Holiday, Caroline Smith, Jenny Lewis