Up-and-coming singer/songwriter Natalie Prass was born in Cleveland and grew up in Virginia Beach, VA, where she took intensive visual art and music courses throughout high school. Pass eventually wound enrolling into Berklee College of Music, but after spending a year there, she dropped out and played a variety of boardwalk clubs before relocating to Nashville, TN, where she’s resided for the past decade. And over that period of time she developed her sound and a reputation for a voice and a sound that seems to have come straight out of 1973 or so, thanks to the fact that her songs possess elements of old school, pop and country music.
Whereas her self-titled debut album’s first single “Why Don’t You Believe Me” possessed the warm yet quietly, self-assured soulfulness of Still Bill-era Bill Withers and of Muscle Shoals, thanks to bursts of horn, fluttering flute, twinkling piano keys and bluesy guitar lines paired with Prass’s gossamer-like vocals, the album’s latest single “My Baby Don’t Understand” manages to be simultaneously similar and yet different. As a ballad, the song sounds as though it owes a debt to Tin Pan Alley or Burt Bacharach, thanks to a gorgeous string and horn arrangement paired with Prass’s vocals.
Much like the album’s first single, “My Baby Don’t Understand” reveals that Prass is an exceptional songwriter as the song feels and sounds as though it comes from deeply lived-in experience. “Our love is a long goodbye” Prass sings with a bitter sadness, and it evokes a relationship that’s doomed in a way that is abundantly obvious and yet particularly difficult to understand. No one has done anything wrong but this relationship like an overwhelming majority of relationships fail on their own accord – and although it’s heartbreaking, life can be that way.