Image by igcphotographyHello, everyone.  Guess what?  It is summer and it is 700 degrees in Virginia.  That being said, here in Virginia, we have a magnet school for the arts.  And when I went there, Natalie Prass was in the art department, but I didn’t really know her.  Now, I hear she’s in Nashville making pretty songs.

The “Small & Sweet” EP has been out for about a year now.  I’m sorry I missed it for so long, but here I am now telling you about it.  What I love about Natalie Prass is what I love about The Hard to Get, I think–fun arrangements and orchestration.  Natalie isn’t just another indie girl singer…and I have no complaints about the typical indie girl acoustic sound…but she brings an element of mystery and originality into her sound, something different from the folksy, pop, acoustic scene we’re accustomed to.  Plus, most of her songs have unexpected structures and chord progressions.  And sometimes there is horn, and often there are strings.

“An Artist’s Critique” utilizes Spanish guitar sounds, which I love.  “Jenny” and “Small and Sweet” are a bit funkier, balanced by the tender “Beg,” which begins with absolutely beautiful orchestration that floats through the entire song, giving it a romantic, almost classical sound (not speaking of music history right now) and “A Good Man,” which reminds me a lot of something from Damien Rice’s o.  However, predictably, the upbeat folk-pop “Deer” encompasses everything I love in a song, and will probably definitely (probably DEFINITELY)  be added to my summer mix (this year, aptly named “why the hell is it so hot this summer”).

Lyrically, Natalie Prass is also awesome.  And my favorite thing: she doesn’t take herself too seriously, but she takes  her music seriously enough.  But I will leave that up to you to figure out.  Us hipsters, we love to be different, but Natalie actually is.

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