Natalie Prass has released one of the best albums of the year in The Future and The Past and she brought her music to the Mothlight in Asheville last night. Things began with Australian singer songwriter Stella Donnelly who took the stage solo. She played an entertaining opening set taking time to explain each song, sometimes giving us notes mid song, almost like an abbreviated form of a dvd commentary. She told us about how she only originally made 30 cassette copies of her EP because she thought that’s all she would sell and that’s also why the cover art is her with a huge amount of noodles stuffed in her mouth and the title is Thrush Metal.
Natalie Prass was next, humorously taking the stage to a recording of that Peanut Butter – Jelly song. You know the one. Prass and her band then treated us to selections from her two albums. The band sounded excellent, throwing in some nice flourishes that aren’t on the recorded versions of the songs. Natalie exists somewhere in the Venn diagram of R&B, jazz singer, and indie. She played one song she described as yacht rock, a genre I can only vaguely define. There were points that the band rocked more than I would have expected at a Natalie Prass show, each member of the band (minus bass) got a solo added to a song each. At one point a casual mention of how her drummer used to live in Asheville led a not short discussion with the audience about wildlife in the area. The band seemed to be having a lot of fun. Stella Donnelly came back out and she and Natalie did a cover of Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” which may or may not have been because Stella is Australian. When it was time to wind down, Natalie asked for requests and then added in a couple of songs. All in all a very good show from an artist you might want to check out while she is still playing small venues like the Mothlight.