New Grandma Sparrow Video & Tour Dates
In May 2014, we released the debut album by multi-instrumentalist Joe Westerlund’s alter ego Grandma Sparrow, a weird and weirdly accessible children’s song cycle for adults. Critics called it “mind-blowing…and brilliant” (SPIN), “gloriously freaky” (Village Voice), and “a surreal, train-wreck masterpiece” (Style Weekly), and Grandma gave only a handful of transcendental performances on tour. We’re happy to present a brand new music video for the song “Existential Mothersnakes” and announce that next month he’ll re-embark for a few more shows culminating in a massive performance at Alverno College, where he’ll be joined by a children’s choir and backed by Milwaukee’s much loved “surly high school orchestra,” the Altos.
Stream ‘Natalie Prass’ & Tour with Ryan Adams
Pitchfork Advance is streaming the self-titled debut album from Natalie Prass all week in anticipation of its release next Monday. Two songs from the record have been named Best New Track by the site, and Vogue premiered the lead track, “My Baby Don’t Understand Me,” which Stereogum calls “stunning” and “deeply vulnerable, Joni Mitchell-esque folk-pop with orchestral grandeur.” For the first time, please enjoy Natalie Prass’ Natalie Prass in its entirety at Pitchfork!
Natalie is touring the U.S. and Europe in support of the album, including several dates throughout the UK, Ireland, and Scandinavia with Ryan Adams. Grab tickets below and join Natalie’s email list for more shows to be announced soon.
Jan 25 – Dublin, Ireland – Whelan’s Upstairs – TICKETS
Jan 27 – London, UK – The Lexington – SOLD OUT
Jan 28 – London, UK – Rough Trade East (In-Store) – MORE INFO
Jan 29 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso North – TICKETS
Feb 3 – Richmond, VA – The Broadberry – TICKETS °
Feb 4 – Washington, DC – DC9 – TICKETS °
Feb 5 – Philadelphia, PA – The Boot & Saddle – TICKETS °
Feb 6 – Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade – TICKETS °
Feb 8 – Boston, MA – TT The Bear’s – TICKETS °
Feb 19 – Brighton, UK – Brighton Dome – TICKETS *
Feb 21 – Leicester UK – Leicester De Montford Hall – TICKETS *
Feb 24 – Edinburgh, UK – Usher Hall – TICKETS *
Feb 25 – Leeds, UK – O2 Academy Leeds – TICKETS *
Feb 27 – London, UK – Eventim Apollo – TICKETS *
Feb 28 – Wolverhampton, UK – Wolverhampton Civic – TICKETS *
Mar 1 – Liverpool, UK – Liverpool Guild of Students – TICKETS *
Mar 3 – Cork, Ireland – Opera House – TICKETS *
Mar 5 – Dublin, Ireland – Olympia – SOLD OUT *
Mar 6 – Dublin, Ireland – Olympia – TICKETS *
Mar 9 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Falconer – TICKETS *
Mar 10 – Stockholm, Sweden – Cirkus – TICKETS *
Mar 12 – Bergan, Norway – Rökeriet – TICKETS *
Mar 13 – Oslo, Norway – Sentrum Scene – TICKETS *
May 11 – Tampa, FL – Jaeb Theater – TICKETS
° with Lady Lady
* with Ryan Adams
Natalie Prass Announces Tour Dates
In January and February, Natalie Prass will play her first shows in support of her debut full-length album, which will be released January 26 & 27 and available for pre-order now. First, she’ll play intimate shows in Dublin, London, and Amsterdam before returning to the U.S. and adding the full band. See all of the dates below, buy your tickets, and read Pitchfork’s “Rising” interview with Natalie.
Jan 25 – Dublin, Ireland @ Whelans — TICKETS
Jan 27 – London, UK @ The Lexington— TICKETS
Jan 29 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso N — TICKETS
Feb 3 – Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry — TICKETS
Feb 4 – Washington, DC @ DC9 — TICKETS
Feb 5 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle — TICKETS
Feb 6 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade — TICKETS
Feb 8 – Boston, MA @ TT the Bear’s — TICKETS
Howard Ivans, One Year Later
Exactly one year ago, Spacebomb released a special piece of music by a man re-introduced to the world as Howard Ivans. This alter ego for The Rosebuds singer Ivan Howard created – alongside the Spacebomb machine – two powerful, stunning, and sexy tracks that we pressed to wax as a 7-inch and dubbed SB003. Critics would call the two tracks – “Red Face Boy” backed with “Pillows” – “magnificent” (SPIN), “impressive” (UNCUT), “wonderful” (DJ Magazine), and “blue-eyed croon that would impress Hall & Oates” (Wondering Sound). They went on and on, raving about its sunny Bacharach orchestration, its pulsating rhythm section and jetting horns, its “full-on funk” and “sexy string-laden soul” (Brooklyn Vegan). And today, we’re celebrating this music with a special discount in our store.
For a very limited time, pick up a Howard Ivans 7″ for only $5 plus shipping. Each copy has been hand-stamped and hand-numbered at Spacebomb HQ in Richmond, Virginia. While you’re adding it to your cart, be sure to stock up on our other releases by Matthew E. White and Grandma Sparrow, and pre-order the forthcoming debut LP by Natalie Prass.
photo credit: Ryan Patterson
Announcing ‘Natalie Prass’ – Out January 2015
Today, we are proud to share the vision of Natalie Prass (SB006), one of those records that appears fully-formed and alive–a rare, bird of beauty. Natalie Prass, the sly Nashville songbird, collaborated with our crack team of arrangers and in-house musicians to spin the lush history of pop into a glowing new tapestry. The whole affair is wrapped around her tender voice, sailing high, sweeping low, flying, sighing–heart-melting and vulnerable one minute, fiery and muscular the next. Natalie Prass spins on pure central Virginia time, the true energy of a community captured and released in its vibrant, effortless sound–an unassuming, soul-pop classic.
Natalie Prass will be released worldwide on January 26 & 27, 2015, and is now available for pre-order (LP/CD). We’ve previously shared Prass’s pop stunner “Bird of Prey,” and today, you can hear “Why Don’t You Believe In Me” for the first time:
About Natalie Prass – Natalie Prass (SB006)
Stroll up to that jewelry store shimmering on a hot Virginia night, under the neon “Spacebomb” sign and take a look at the latest gem–glowing, sparkling, radiant with light. Natalie Prass is the sound of an artist and community working together, replete with lightning-in-a-bottle chemistry, soaked with the same sweet perspiration and small-town spirit that ran through Memphis, New Orleans and Muscle Shoals. It is both an utterly timeless and perfectly timed affair. Using the experience from producing Matthew E. White’s Big Inner, Spacebomb joined forces with a true kindred spirit–Nashville singer and songwriter Natalie Prass–to travel deeper into its universe of sound. The sheer quality of her voice and songs gave collaborators the freedom to push their craft to the limit: Trey Pollard’s gorgeous, technicolor strings rising from the coastal plain; White’s muscular R&B horn signatures driving and complicating the dance; everything locked down to the rhythm section of Cameron Ralston and Pinson Chanselle riding a supernatural groove. Natalie Prass is a thoughtful collection of music, nourished by reverence for past eras of big band and jazz and infused with the crisp detail of late 70s & early 80s R&B, a diamond for everyone, a sophisticated soul-pop triumph.
“Bird of Prey” kicks it off with that silky and propulsive beat. Prass delivers the goods, balancing an infectious hook and calmly observed feelings as flutes dive and weave between muted horns, a rolling tack piano courtesy of Daniel Clarke (k.d. lang, Ryan Adams) underpinning the beat. This track makes a confident assertion that southern soul is not gone or lost, or confined to retro gestures. Funky horns, gutsy guitar lines and murmuring flutes in “Why Don’t You Believe In Me” connect with the song’s wry internal monologue, sine wave needles of feedback penetrating the mix in counterpoint to an overall controlled elegance. “Violently” riffs off expectations for gentle ballads with its raw take on the intensity of desire. Vocally inspired by Diana Ross, conveying both softness and strength–a litheness and brightness, Prass has the ability to express the full spectrum of emotion and drift further into shades unknown. During “My Baby Don’t Understand Me,” she sings of the world crumbling while horns sashay into fanfare, the arrangement getting impossibly big but never losing the groove, staying balanced, dropping down to a piano lick, then returning with force–with power. As a songwriter, Prass has that rare ability to compose in her own distinct voice and still sound immediately classic.
The graceful “It Is You” closes out the album in style, the spirit of Harry Nilsson strolling in a sentimental mood through colorful fields of sound. Pollard distills his strings to their highest proof: intoxicating, sweet and lush, then fading down to a perfect sigh of dissonance. Natalie Prass consistently achieves those moments of “shared recognition,” when certain elements, a nuance of arrangement or the emotional weight of a lyric, unite to create astonishing richness and depth. This artist and this record reach Spacebomb’s vision of intensely personal, well-crafted regional music, a new music that has global reach and appeal. It wouldn’t sound the same coming from anywhere else, New York, Chicago, L.A. or even Philly; the pace is unique–pure central Virginia time, bound up in the tight harmony of community, its energy captured and released in the vibrant, effortless sound of Natalie Prass.
Natalie Prass (SB006) will be released on January 26 & 27 2015, on Spacebomb Records & Caroline International (CD/LP/Digital)