Natalie Prass – “Sisters”

The Richmond, Virginia singer-songwriter Natalie Prass arrived three years ago, when she released a dazzling self-titled debut full of starry-eyed, intricately layered orchestral pop music. She was good at that. But now it looks like she’s going in a very different direction. Later this spring, she’ll release The Future And The Past, her sophomore album. And it looks like she’s pushing things into distinctly funky places.

Last month, Prass shared “Short Court Style,” the first single from the new LP. It was a lush, strutting, disco-inflected jam, and it seemed more rooted in R&B than anything on her first album. The sound suited her well, and she sounded great singing it on Conan. As it turns out, that wasn’t an anomaly. Prass has now shared “Sisters,” a second single from The Future And The Past. And if anything, the new single finds her pushing even further away from that first album’s sound.

“Sisters” is as finely orchestrated as anything on Natalie Prass. But it’s also a slow neo-soul simmer, and Prass’ breathy, conversational, rhythmically focused delivery has serious echoes of Baduizm-era Erykah Badu. Producer Matthew E. White, who worked with Prass on both of her albums, has long been making throwbacky psychedelic soul records on his own. But with “Sisters,” it feels like Prass is moving in that world with a very serious sense of self-assurance. Listen to “Sisters” below.

The Future And The Past is out 6/1 via ATO.