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On A Majestic Debut, Emotions Hide In Plain Sight

Singer-songwriter Natalie Prass has just released her self-titled debut album.
Ryan Patterson
/
Courtesy of the artist
Singer-songwriter Natalie Prass has just released her self-titled debut album.

A young singer and songwriter came out with a debut album last week, but it has the sound of a vintage record. The songs of Natalie Prass are elaborate productions, painstakingly arranged, shot through with traces of big band and Tin Pan Alley, 1970s country and soul — and yet her own fine, delicate voice still rises above it all.

"We wanted my voice to be on top of all of the arrangements, kind of like an old Curtis Mayfield record: How his voice is really gentle but it rests right on top, and not much reverb, just very dry, very flat, very revealing," Prass says. "When you listen to those old records, even the percussionist is playing something catchy that you can sing back. We had all these different elements; we wanted them to come together and just be able to take you away."

Prass spoke with NPR's Scott Simon about twisting reality and fantasy together on her self-titled debut. Hear their conversation, and the music, at the audio link

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