Birds of Prey – Natalie Prass

From similar pop-country roots to Mandy Moore or maybe even Taylor Swift, Natalie Prass has soul enough to hit the road with the likes of Ryan Adams as her album proves.

It has been a while now since I saw Natalie Prass supporting Ryan Adams and The Shining in Dublin. The American lady that took her place beside me in the front row had been at the Dublin and Cork shows previous, and told me that she was excited to introduce her teenage daughter to Prass, because she’s a real girly girl and to expect some lighthearted pop. I got lighthearted pop, but I also got soul, blues, country.

I have put off listening to ‘Bird of Prey’ until now. I guess I didn’t know how Natalie’s stage presence would translate to record, and if her blend of catchy, soulful, sometimes R&B and always girlish melodies would still make me giddy outside of the context of a Ryan Adam’s show.

‘Bird of Prey’ is anything but stripped back; strings, horns and a big orchestral sound is present throughout which when combined with Natalie’s distinctive birdsong vocals should result in songs that sound as if they were recorded for a Disney soundtrack circa 1940. ‘It Is You’ is perhaps the most deserving of this description, beautifully cinematic – a song fitting for Snow White herself.

‘Violently’ would fit perfectly on Ryan Adam’s ‘Love Is Hell’ album or a Rufus Wainwright record – a beautiful, soulful ballad with a gorgeous bass line about loving someone from afar, trying to gather the courage to make your move. Lyrically, the standout track.

I’ve seen this record compared to so much ladies’ music that has come before, if you can find an album that compares please tell me – because I’m ready to hear it.

Photo by Ryan Patterson