GospelbeacH: Where Breezy Songcraft Meets Sunny Harmonies

This article was first published on November 17, 2015. This piece also serves as a loving memory of Neal Casal who sadly passed away on August 26, 2019. Forever love, Neal. Thanks for all your music.

GospelbeacH might be a new acquaintance, but there’s something warmly familiar about them.

Led by singers, guitarists and songwriters Brent Rademaker and Neal Casal, and featuring guitarist Jason Soda, bassist Kip Boardman and drummer Tom Sanford, the band includes members of beloved acts Beachwood Sparks, The Tyde and Ryan Adams and the Cardinals. Just like the music itself, this prestigious collective defies the boundaries of time and style.

GospelbeacH takes us down on a warm and wonderful journey where breezy songcraft meets sunny harmonies, somewhere along the same ways The Flying Burrito Brothers, Grateful Dead and Buffalo Springfield once tread.

Their recently released debut album, Pacific Surf Line – referring to the replacement of the once-mighty steam engines of the Santa Fe Railway by the modern Pacific Surfliner that now traverses the Southern Californian coastline – forges five creative forces into one steamrolling train of cosmic American music.

We hooked up with Rademaker and Casal for this offbeat Q&A.

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What’s the first thing you thought about this morning?

Brent Rademaker: Why did they try to make 12 Monkeys into a television show?

Neal Casal: Are there waves today?

What’s the best gift you ever received?

Brent: This year my wife bought me a Martin acoustic guitar. Materialistic, yes, but it was my birthday and it came from her so it’s the best hands down.

Neal: A job in GospelbeacH

Who were your musical heroes growing up?

Brent: Chicago, Kiss, Maynard Ferguson and my dad.

Neal: Brian Jones, Randy Rhodes, Sly Stone, Kate Wolf.

In case of fire, what three things would you rescue?

Brent: My wife, my dogs and my Martin.

Neal: My Gibson J-50, my Leica M-6 and my Source 9’10 longboard

Name an album, artist or experience that changed your perspective on music?

Brent: Gram Parsons.

Neal: Peace And Love by Ras Michael and The Sons of Negus

Most unlikely album, song or artist that inspires your own music?

Brent: Foreigner

Neal: Aerosmith’s Draw the Line.

Best new song you recently discovered?

Brent: “Something to Believe In” by Tall Tales and the Silver Lining

Neal: “Mrs. Gristle’s Reel” by Nathan Salsburg

Can you share a fun fact about your new album?

Brent: We recorded the name “Lompoc” by over-pronouncing it “Lom-Poke,” and then “Lom-Pock,” as it seems there is some controversy about just how the California city’s name is pronounced. The correct way is “Pock” but the locals say “Poke.” We sing it both ways in concert… oh well.

Neal: We honestly had a good time making it and we’re still friends after it was finished.

Explain your music to your grandparents?

Brent: It’s like what they played on the jukebox at Garbers Tavern in Emden, Illinois in 1974.

Neal: I’m guessing they would have dug it.

What’s your favorite activity besides music?

Brent: I enjoy writing these days.

Neal: Making photographs.

What’s your greatest fear?

Brent: Fear itself.

Neal: Running out of half & half.

What’s a place you’ve never been that you want to go?

Brent: The Bahamas.

Neal: India. I’d like to hear Indian classical music at its source.

What’s your favorite piece of gear on stage?

Brent: I love my thick curly black Vox guitar cable because Mick Jones had one just like it.

Neal: My tuner.

Can you share the recipe to your favorite dish.

Brent:
1/2 avocado (not too ripe)
1 slice of sprouted grain bread
1 pad of butter (optional)
1 pinch of course sea salt
extra virgin olive oil

toast bread
apply butter (optional)
spread and smash avocado onto toast
crumble salt and drizzle olive oil
EAT.

Neal: Capn’ Crunch and milk.

And finally, describe your music as if it were in physical form.

Brent: A red, white and blue vessel full of a golden flowing effervescent magic liquid that brings instant joy to everyone. Oh, wait, that’s a can of Miller Lite… yeah that!

Neal: An eraser.

Tift Merritt: 5 Albums That Changed My Life

Tift Merritt is a critically acclaimed, Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter from North Carolina, out now with  Stitch of the World, but another wonderful addition to an already impressive catalog.

Though often designated by others as a folk & Americana artist and commonly compared to Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris (quite often both in the same sentence), Merritt’s whole career has been marked by an eclectic approach to all kinds of music.

She started out in the local North Carolina alt-country scene, gradually winning the attention of fans and musicians alike alongside fellow Carolina native Ryan Adams. Adams would ultimately connect Merritt with his manager and help secure her first deal with Lost Highway. Ever since her 2002 debut, Bramble Rose, Merritt has challenged herself artistically, actively pursuing new directions and working with loads of different folks while maintaining her ridiculously high quality throughout.

For Stitch of the World, her second release on Yep Roc, Merritt  looked inwards, calling upon her personal recollections from the time between 2012’s Traveling Alone and now. In doing so, Merritt created a record that marks both a musical and thematic departure from her previous work.

Since releasing Traveling Alone, Merritt had been on the road for two years, recorded and toured with classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein and joined Andrew Bird’s band. In her own words: “Suddenly, I was turning 40, getting divorced, and scared out of my mind. So I decided to take a year off the road to see what would happen to me if I just stopped touring… On a friend’s ranch in Marfa, Texas, in the middle of the high plains without a car headlight in sight, I did just that, and when I did, I started to do what I always do: the humble work of marking life by writing.”

And wrote she did: ‘What made my time off special was that I had a regular writing routine. I was private. I followed my heart and my craft. The story of being a writer is the story of being devoted over a long time.’

Come fall of 2016, Merritt found herself expecting a child with her boyfriend, recording with Hiss Golden Messenger and partnering up with Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam for the new album following the pair’s chance airport encounter.

Recorded in just four days at Ocean Way in California, the terrific Stitch of the World was produced by Beam and Tifts band, a band that also includes Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello), Jay Bellerose (Sara Watkins, Punch Brothers), Jennifer Condos (Over the Rhine) and Eric Heywood (Pretenders, Son Volt).

As an artist who has most certainly put out her fair share of classic albums already, we invited Tift Merritt to present 5 albums that changed her life. She graciously returned with some interesting picks in addition to some lovely prose to match.

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George Harrison: All Things Must Pass

I listened to this record so much in the early days of our band, on tour. The playing, the chords, the music are so creative, so beautiful. The lyrics are poems. I love that George was not the main writer for the Beatles, but had all of this elegance in the wings. Such a beautiful way to talk about an ending. What I take most is his spiritual hunger, that music and sound can be how one searches for meaning, for peace, for depth.

 

Emmylou Harris: Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town

I learned every song on this album. “Two More Bottles of Wine” and “One Paper Kid” were both in my earliest gig setlists when I was 19 or so.  I remember searching for a female role model in music — When I found this record, everything started to make sense.  Emmylou, Carole King, Kitty Wells — those were the women I wanted to be like and looked up to.

 

Delaney & Bonnie: Home 

This record really influenced my writing after Bramble Rose. I love the loose, earthy feels. The players are mostly Stax house band, Steve Cropper! This record is teaming with good feel.

 

Bob Dylan: Blonde on Blonde 

My dad gave me this record and it was in the cassette deck of my car turning over and over and over for a couple years straight. The power of the words as a driving force in a song really unlocked my mind about what kind of worlds could be made.

 

Joni Mitchell: Ladies of the Canyon

Talk about someone who is one of a kind.  Her tone, her point of view, the worlds she makes, her raw power.  Joni is inspiration on so many levels as a female, an artist, an individual. Her music really does sound like a painter made it. The chords are colorful and dissident and evocative in completely creative ways. This was a soundtrack to my a certain period in my life, but anytime I put it on even now it envelopes me.

Originally published on read.tidal, January 2017
Bjørn Hammershaug

Bloodshot Records: A Life of Sin

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Bloodshot Records was born in a late-night Chicago bar, with some simple ideas scrawled out on a cocktail napkin.

for-a-life-of-sinEver since its very first album release in 1994, For a Life of Sin: A Compilation of Insurgent Chicago Country, the esteemed label has been a bright and steady beacon in a shifting musical landscape. That very first compilation included local Midwestern greatness like The Bottle Rockets, Robbie Fulks, The Handsome Family, Freakwater, and of course Jon Langford (The Mekons), whose commitment to bands like The Waco Brothers and Pine Valley Cosmonauts – not to mention his striking visual art – is closely connected to the history of Bloodshot, spawning the term “insurgent country” for which the label is known.

Predating the Americana wave to come later in the ’90s, Bloodshot soon spread out across the nation to become nearly synonymous with rootsy rock ‘n’ roll, country punk, and shining singer-songwriters seemingly unfit to belong anywhere else. Initially dropping releases from the likes of Old 97’s, Neko Case, Waco Brothers, and Ryan Adams (Heartbreaker being Bloodshot’s biggest seller of all time) laid the foundation that the label would carefully built and gradually developed over the years.

More recent signings include Justin Townes Earle, Lydia Loveless, Luke Winslow-King, and Maggie Björklund, as well as long-time main stayers as Graham Parker, Andre Williams, The Sadies, and Alejandro Escovedo. And even though Bloodshot has always stayed true to its roots, it has never stop growing and expanding and has continued to consistently release quality music. Going through Bloodshot’s massive catalog and choosing highlights is both an exciting and monumental task, one that serves as a reminder of how vital, diverse, and fun the label’s output has been.

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Justin Townes Earle (Credit: Bloodshot/Joshua Black Wilkins)

I hooked up with original label founders Nan Warshaw and Rob Miller to get to know beloved Bloodshot a little better. Read on to learn about the label that draws lines from the Dead Kennedys straight back to Johnny Cash, to hear a compelling story about longevity without compromising guiding principles and to understand how the devaluation of creative content these days makes us all culturally poorer.

*   *   *

Can you please give a brief history of Bloodshot and how it was founded? 

Rob Miller: Three music freaks walked into bar… Bloodshot started the same way a great many ridiculous enterprises began: ignorance, stubbornness, naiveté, and boundless enthusiasm for music that others seemed to be ignoring. And liquor.

executioners_last_songsIn retrospect, there was remarkably little awareness as to what we might be doing. In the hazy-crazy post-Nirvana days, everyone was looking for the next big thing. The notion of ‘alternative music’ that we’d grown up on was being used to soundtrack jeans commercials, Martha Stewart was telling the world how to throw a ‘grunge party’ and the whole thing was a depressing co-opting of a lifestyle and worldview.

At the same time, we saw a vibrant and, to us, under-recognized scene in Chicago full of bands dipping their toes into the rootsy music underbelly. It was fresh, inventive, unconstricted by rules or expectations. And it was honest and straightforward. It drew the line from the Dead Kennedys straight back to Johnny Cash. We thought ‘hey, why not gather up a bunch of songs and put them on a CD and have a show!’ It was that simple and that, I dunno, pure in its genesis. There was no planning for step #2. It was, at the time, a distraction from my day job of painting houses and getting the infrequent tiny check for writing an album review or something.

But we struck a chord, and the enterprise snowballed and here we are, 22 years later, still waiting for someone to say “Hey! You can’t do that!!”

What motivated you to enter the music business in the first place?

RM: My first concert was Alice Cooper at the Cobo Hall in Detroit in 1979. I hated it all. The whole ‘Detroit Rock City’ vibe. The weed, the long hair, the pure dumb-assery of it all. Listening to “Stairway to Heaven” on the radio made we wonder why people liked music at all. It was so tedious and spoke not a whit to the hellishness of the bullying and alienation I was experiencing in high school. Then I saw Devo. Then the Ramones, then Black Flag, then X, Circle Jerks, The Cramps, The Gun Club…. all in the space of about two months. And that was it: The energy, the anger, the weirdness, the freedom.

Looking back, I guess it wasn’t a matter of IF I’d be involved in music, but a matter of when and how. After a couple years of DJ’ing in college, and a stint as a roadie, as a stage manager, as a production manager and as an occasional tour manager in addition to doing lots of writing in my spare time, I moved to Chicago to get away from music. That didn’t turn out too well.

waco_cowboyWhat labels, if any, where your personal role models or guiding stars?

RM: Being a full-fledged music geek, I started paying attention to the labels themselves early on and to the identities and histories they had. Stax/Volt, Sun, Chess and being from Detroit, obviously Motown and Fortune. Plus all those crazy regional labels like King and a thousand others. When I started getting into punk and hardcore, there was such a strong bond and association between bands, fans and labels. Dischord, Slash, SST, Touch and Go were all models – perhaps unwittingly – for the notion that if you want to do something, DO IT. Don’t wait for a major label or some other sort monolithic power structure to tell you how things should be done. Building a community around the label seemed so natural in the days of Sub Pop, Estrus, Sympathy for the Record Industry, K, In the Red, we didn’t really sit down and go “this is a good business move,” it was just a natural extension of our participation in the underground music scene.

What do you represent or stand for as an institution?

RM: Well, what we represent is for others to decide, I suppose. We’ve never got too bogged down with questions like ‘what is the BS sound?’ or ‘how much do you represent a counterview to the Nashville Country Music Industry?’ or other such things. We’re too busy doing the work and moving forward.

We’d like to be thought of, by both our fans and our artists, as a bunch of music fans who worked hard, believed in what we did, never took the support we’ve received for granted, and never took the art entrusted to us lightly.

And that we threw some pretty fun parties.

What, in your opinion, is the greatest achievement in the history of Bloodshot Records? What are you most proud of achieving since starting the label?

RM: Longevity without compromising our principles. It’s impossible for me to pick ONE moment, or ONE album, that would mean that I’m always looking back, and I try not to do that. The joy and sense of accomplishment comes from the long view; watching an artist’s career arc, still believing in what we do.  I’m proud that people still find that occasional spark in our releases, that they trust us and stick around for the ride.

Did you have an initial idea back then on what the label ought to be and how it could evolve in the future?

RM: Not to be glib, but we had no idea what we were doing or getting ourselves into back then. Or now, for that matter. There was no expectation of a “future” when we started – ignorance can be very liberating – and there are always new surprises and challenges. Often, especially as a result of changing technologies, evolution is thrust upon us and we do the best we can.

The Bottle Rockets (Credit: Bloodshot/Todd Fox)

The Bottle Rockets (Credit: Bloodshot/Todd Fox)

*   *   *

How will you describe your music scene at the moment?

Nan Warshaw: Bloodshot is in the wonderful position of having many loyal fans who buy music to support the artists they love. Many of our fans come from an indie rock background and most are seeking out unique music that speaks to them. Bloodshot has never fit neatly within a genre package, our bands tend to be too edgy for Americana and Folk, and too roots based for straight ahead indie rock and punk – which is exactly why they stand out.

How do you decide whether to release an album or not?

NW: Once we commit to working with an artist, we’re in for a penny and in for a pound. We give our bands full artistic reign. We have never not released an album delivered by one of our. Our “judging” process happens earlier, when we’re deciding if an artist is the right fit for Bloodshot. First, we have to love the music and believe we can be that artist’s best label home. These days we can only afford to work with artists that are already touring a lot, artists who already have the rest of their business side together.

earle_harlemriverSo, where do you see Bloodshot another 20 odd years down the line?

NW: How will music be consumed in 20 years?!? We have no clue! What we do know is, as that change is happening, we must remain nimble and adapt quickly.

The music industry goes through rapid changes these days. How have those challenges and changes affected your work, if at all, and what is different running a label today compared to before?

We have to work harder and smarter to earn one third the amount we did a decade ago. For example, an artist seeing the success of Lydia Loveless today is comparable to what Justin Townes Earle saw six years ago, yet sales don’t compare at all. More than an entire generation is accustomed to getting creative content free, or almost free. People inoculate themselves against ‘illegal’ by paying a pittance for a streaming service, they then don’t feel guilty yet they’re not paying enough to support the artists they claim to love. Bloodshot is getting more media and fan attention than ever for our artists, but it isn’t reflected in record sales or streaming income. In other words, the loss caused by a sharp decline in physical sales has not been made up for by the increase in digital revenue. As usual, the major labels have an unfair advantage over the indie labels. They invest in or own the digital services, and those services have cut them into income streams (such as breakage) that indie labels rarely see a part of. Then the major labels don’t share that additional income with their artists.

under-the-savage-skyWe used to be able to release an album because we loved it; so long as it was recorded affordably, we could sell a few thousand copies and break even. Those days are gone. Both our country and the world at large is missing out on great music because the vast majority of music listeners are no longer paying a fair price for their music consumption. Ironically, despite the fact that both truly affordable home recording and tremendously broadened access to music dissemination allow many musicians to create more easily than ever before, we’ve stopped financially supporting creative content as a culture. So the same story goes in all creative content forms from film to journalism to photography.

This shift to devalue creative content makes us all culturally poorer.

What’s coming next for Bloodshot?

We have exciting new albums in the works from Scott Biram, Cory Branan, Ha Ha Tonka, Banditos, and Yawpers. Plus, a seminal vinyl LP release from the Old 97s. Most recently, we released a new, yet classic, juke-joint swing album Slingin’ Rhythm by Wayne Hancock, and a vocal-pop-jazz (think Harry Nilsson, Beach Boys) album It’s a World of Love and Hope from Chicago all-stars The Flat Five.

Where can folks experience your music in the near future?

Our bands are constantly touring. You can see all the upcoming dates here. If you want to be notified about new releases and your favorite Bloodshot artists coming to your town, sign up here.

Any regrets? Anything you would do differently given a second chance?

Since I don’t have a time machine and might accidentally dial in the wrong date if I did have one – anyway, I’d rather go back to re-live a great show! – I’ll avoid re-living my failures and the risk of my little historical changes causing WWIII. On that happy note, I’ll add that we’ve had the absolute pleasure and honor of working with our musical heroes – there is nothing better than watching a stellar show where the artist plays a new song that almost goes off the track but amazingly manages to stay on, or where harmonies send chills down your spine while there are twice as many enthusiastic fans watching than the last time.

*   *   *

We also asked the kind people over at Bloodshot to select 5 memorable or important albums (impossible task, we know) that tell the story of the label. Mr. Miller kindly returned with these gems from over the years:

old97_wreckOld 97’s: Wreck Your Life
(BS 009, 1995)

The first record we released that made us think ‘um….we might be onto something.’ They came on like a gang and found that heavenly sweet spot between true punk, metal and deep country soul. They perfected a template that has had no relevant usurpers.

ryan_adams_heartbreakerRyan Adams: Heartbreaker
(BS 071, 2000)

No in depth history of Bloodshot would be complete without a mention of this masterpiece. A stone cold classic. The sine qua non of Ryan’s albums. Where promise met execution head on. As life piles on the weirdness and hardships, this album gets nothing but better. It took off like a rocket and we all had to hang on for the ride, learning a lot of lessons along the way.

Lydia Loveless: Somewhere Else
(BS 219, 2014)

As a music geek, one of the ongoing thrills of the job is the act of discovery. Finding a young, rough talent and watching them find their voice and develop an artistic footing. We’ve been fortunate to be along on such journeys with Neko Case, Justin Townes Earle and many others. Recently, we’ve been lucky enough to be a part of the creative and popular ascendance of Lydia Loveless. On her first Bloodshot release (2011’s Indestructible Machine) there were fevered comparisons to acknowledged music icons like Loretta Lynn, Stevie Nicks, the Replacements, and more: She’s half this, half that, one part something else. We hate math. But, now Lydia Loveless is a reference point all her own. The arc of her development is an inspiring and exciting one.

roger_knoxRoger Knox: Stranger in My Land
(BS 179, 2013)

Made with an all-star cast, headed by Jon Langford (Mekons, Waco Brothers), this is a record of great importance. It traces the influence of American country & western on the aboriginal Australian community. It is powerful and moving material, heartbreaking and hilarious, downtrodden and uplifting, suffused with longing, alienation, resilience and hope; universal themes arising out of largely unexplored context. It possesses the urgency of an Alan Lomax field recording, but with a spirit that remains relevant in today’s world. Most of our music is for entertainment’s sake, but this a record with profound historical reach.

robbie_fulks_uplandRobbie Fulks: Upland Stories
(BS 242, 2016)

We worked with Robbie on our very first release, the Chicago-centric compilation For A Life Of Sin. After that, we put out a few of his albums and several other compilation tracks. Our paths meandered over the years, but recently we have re-connected for a couple of stellar releases, the most recent being Upland Stories. That Robbie is not a widely celebrated name in households across the world as one of the premiere songwriters of this generation, is a pox upon us all. To be a part of his evolving talents is a listener’s delight.

Bjørn Hammershaug

Opprinnelig publisert på read.tidal.com, november 2016

Natalie Prass: Nashville Spacebomb

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natalie_prassNatalie Prass har vært på alles lepper dette året. Nå er hun klar for Øyafestivalen 2015. Den 28 år gamle artisten slapp sin selvtitulerte debut til internasjonal anerkjennelse i januar, etterfulgt av opptredener på flere store TV-show. Prass er for tiden på turné rundt i Europa med Ryan Adams. I tillegg til deres egne set, har de også startet å samarbeide. Adams gjør sin versjon av ”Your Fool”, mens Prass er med på flere av hans låter på scenen.

– Jeg er overveldet. Altså, hvordan skjedde alt dette? ler hun.

– Jeg kjøpte faktisk Gold da jeg gikk på high school og pianisten hans spiller nå på min egen plate.

På telefon fra London, like før hun går på scenen på Hammersmith Apollo, forteller Natalie:

– Det har vært en fantastisk reise, og jeg synes det er synd at turnéen nå snart er slutt. Vi har blitt behandlet med så mye godhet og omtanke hele veien. Alle sammen kommer så bra overens – det har bare vært en avslappet og morsom turné.

Selv om Natalie Prass er et nytt navn for mange, er hun på ingen måte en nykommer. Født i Cleveland i 1986, oppvokst i Virginia, før hun flyttet til Nashville hvor hun har brukt de siste årene som låtskriver og musiker. Hun har spilt keyboard for Jenny Lewis og varmet opp for Angel Olsen.

– Jeg fullførte college der før jeg brukte ni år på å jobbe i Nashville. Jeg fikk en publiseringsavtale, gjorde session-arbeid, spilte og gjorde innspillinger hele tiden – tjente knapt med penger i flere år, forteller hun.

– Dette er faktisk første gangen jeg kan ta med et helt band på veien.

Prass fortsetter: – Nashville er veldig utfordrende, men jeg lærte så mye i den byen. Jeg flyttet tilbake til Richmond i Virginia for å være nærmere bandet mitt. Richmond er en veldig inspirerende by, men jeg elsker Nashville. Jeg dro derfra, men kan alltid komme tilbake.

matthew_white_innerTing begynte virkelig å røre på seg når Natalie fant ut at en gammel venn i Richmond hadde begynt å lage musikk sammen med noen lokale musikere. De kalte seg selv for Spacebomb, en produksjonsgruppe som inkluderer et husband, blåserrekke, strykere, og kor. Vennen var ingen ringere enn Matthew E. White, som var ansvarlig for den første Spacebomb-produksjonen.

Whites første soloalbum Big Inner ble en uventet kritiker-yndling i 2012 og nykommerne i Spacebomb måtte utsette alt annet, inkludert debuten til Prass.

– Albumet var innspilt i 2012, men av ulike grunner var det aldri et riktig tidspunkt å slippe det, og datoen ble stadig dyttet framover. Det begynte å bli frustrerende, innrømmer hun. – Big Inner gikk så bra, men jeg ville jo ha musikken min ut.

– Det er ingen sure miner mellom oss. Vi er alle gode venner, og alt gikk bra til slutt. Jeg ønsker ikke å lage trendy musikk uansett, og jeg stolte på at dette var en plate som kunne vare og fortsatt ha relevans om 10 år. Jeg håper det fortsatt er en god plate.

Når hun blir spurt om hun vil fortsette å lage musikk med Spacebomb-gjengen er hun usikker.

– Det å lage dette albumet var en fantastisk erfaring for oss alle, men for å være ærlig, så er jeg ikke sikker. Alle er så travelt opptatt om dagen, men du vet, før eller siden kommer vi nok til å jobbe sammen igjen. Vi liker å jobbe sammen.

Prass’ debutalbum er stappet med klassiske amerikanske referanser, fra Muscle Shoals og New Orleans jazz, til lyden av Stax, country-soul og tidlig 80-talls R&B. Som utøver har hun blitt sammenlignet med Dionne Warvick, Dusty Springfield og Dolly Parton, for å nevne noen.

Hun er rask til å kreditere Spacebomb-gjengen, som ikke bare sikret hennes musikalske fundament, men også utfordret det.

– Vi var alltid på samme nivå. Jeg hadde en ganske klar idé på hvordan jeg ville at albumet skulle føles, men de snudde om på det og delte sin ekspertise med arrangering av blåsere og strykere, forteller hun.

Med linjer som ”Even if I wanted to/No I never could get over you/Now there’s nothing left for me to do”, er det flere som trekker linjer til kjærlighetssorg. Uten å gå i detalj, sier hun ’det handler alltid om noen personlige erfaringer. Ikke ord for ord, men de kommer helt klart fra noe personlig’.

Med så mye velfortjent oppmerksomhet rundt albumet, lurer man på hva slags press hun føler.

– Det tok så lang tid å få albumet ut, at jeg til slutt ikke visste hvordan jeg skulle føle rundt det. Når jeg endelig valgte dagen å gjøre det på, var det bare å kjøre på. Jeg visste ikke hva folk ville mene om det, men jeg var bare så fornøyd.

For Prass kommer ekte glede fra det å lage musikk.

Når hun til slutt får beskjed om å komme til scenen, avslutter hun: Alt jeg ville var å ha muligheten til å fortsette med det jeg alltid har gjort – og alltid vil gjøre.

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Opprinnelig publisert på magazine.wimp.no, 13. mars 2015

Bjørn Hammershaug