Spacebomb Records out of Richmond, Virginia is doing things the old school way. Yes, you can buy their releases on vinyl and most of their artists are captured with analog equipment, but Spacebomb also has a house band, just like Stax or Motown. Their albums have a particular sound: the band plays a style of low-simmering soul that’s matched with a heavenly string section, equal parts gritty and beautiful.
The Spacebomb band is just as good as its singer, so it’s a good thing they have Natalie Prass. After a stint in Jenny Lewis’ band, the Nashville-based Prass is going it alone. On “Why Don’t You Believe In Me”–from her self-titled debut, out January 27--she mixes influences as diverse as Dionne Warwick and Dolly Parton with an anxious delivery that firmly places her in the here-and-now. Too many modern soul singers rely on pastiche without putting themselves in their sound. Prass rises above all this, allowing her songwriting to speak for herself.