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Natalie Prass: SXSW 2015

FUV at SXSW: Exclusive performances from Austin, including Natalie Prass at Hotel San Jose.

Championed by her old friend Matthew E. White and his Spacebomb Records crew, Nashville-based Natalie Prass makes a formidable debut with her eponymous first album, a gorgeous collection of smoky, sensual and torchy love—or brokenhearted—songs. On tracks like the outstanding "Bird of Prey," Prass's breezy and soulful vocals simmer over a loping backbeat and brassy narration, courtesy of Spacebomb Records' house band, recalling a certain '70s-era Minnie Riperton vibe or even '90s siren Janet Jackson. Yet there's a catch to those pretty sounds; Prass's thoughtful lyrics veer to the slyly subversive.

A former backing singer for Jenny Lewis and on tour this winter with Ryan Adams (who donned a dress and stepped in for Prass in Copenhagen when her flight was delayed), Natalie Prass has been patiently paying her dues for a long time—most of the songs on this album were recorded three years ago—but she has finally emerged as one of 2015's most compelling new voices.

Follow WFUV's SXSW 2015 coverage all week long and tune into Public Radio Rocks, on Friday, March 20, from 1pm-7pm EDT with Courtney Barnett, Gang of Four, Twin Shadow, Best Coast, Ryan Bingham and Madisen Ward and Mama Bear.

Funding for WFUV's ongoing coverage of live concerts and festivals comes from The Agnes Varis Trust, supporting affordable access to the arts, education and healthcare.