Natalie Prass’ The Future and the Past was an album that was highly anticipated when it was released in June. For us, Natalie Prass represents everything there is to love about music. Her first LP was just as easy to dance to as it was to cry to. Since then, she recorded an LP, scrapped it, then recorded another which became The Future and the Past. Prass made the decision to scrap the original record because, to her, it felt like she needed to release something more relevant in the world of Trump, and the rising tide of hate that seems to dominate everyone’s newsfeed.
Right from the opening track, “Oh My”, she makes us aware that this is a political record. Through her smooth vocals, she sings:
“Seems like everyday we’re losing.
When we choose to read the news, oh my.
Psychedelic confusion, mass illusion.
Are we losing our minds?”
“Short Court Style” is an undeniably groovy track that no doubt is one of the year’s finest tracks. “Lost” is a heartwrencher of a track – from her powerful vocal performance to the piano and light smattering of drums. It’s absolutely moving.
The loudest political statement Prass makes on The Future and the Past is “Sisters”. It proclaims the importance of women working together to change the world. It also packs some important lyrics for these days:
“One time for our girls at school
Who can’t get ahead no matter what they do.
And when they grow up and try to work.
Oh no, but they ain’t nothin’ but the shorter skirt.”
Prass digs deep with “Never Too Late”, a collaboration with Steve Lindsey who has worked with the likes of Billy Joel and Elton John, and definitely feels from another era. On an album packed with stunning moments, there is none more so than “Far From You”, which is a reference to The Carpenter’s “Close To You” and Karen Carpenter’s influence on Prass’ music.
On The Future and the Past, Natalie Prass has created an immensely relevant record. And while it features political themes of 2018, its sound is largely influenced from the past. There are tracks that look toward building a new future. It’s still music you can dance and cry to, but now it’s grounded in a world that we all live in and should strive to change.
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