Sounds Like: An indie-rock Dusty In Memphis
For Fans of: Fifties Brill Building, Sixties Tropicália and Seventies Laurel Canyon songcraft
Why You Should Pay Attention: A singer/songwriter who had recently been making custom dog sweaters to pay rent, Prass abandoned her longtime Nashville homebase, joined Jenny Lewis' touring band and recorded her debut LP with indie-pop up-and-comer Matthew E. White in Richmond, Virginia, where she now lives. Prass' concise, self-titled set is full of lush orchestrations, mellow brass and an apiary of sparkly, fluttering, close-miked vocals that echo Laura Nyro and early Kate Bush. Early reports indicate her music has wowed plenty of critics — among them Ryan Adams, who invited her to open his European tour.
She Says: "My dad gave me the Introducing Dionne Warwick album when I was like 14," Prass says, explaining why she thanked the veteran soul-pop singer in her liner notes. "It was the first time I'd heard Burt Bacharach's songwriting and her voice, and it rocked my world. She's such a great singer, and communicator. It really helped me shape my own style….I'm really into the "classic" thing — the craft of writing something that will last, that won't die by next year."
Hear for Yourself: The lead track of her LP, "My Baby Don't Understand Me," is a crumbled relationship ballad with the bruised, cinematic majesty of a post-war Robert E. Lee retreating home. By Will Hermes