Matthew E. White and Natalie Prass know each other from the high school they attended in their native Richmond, Virginia. They are a perfectly matching pair: Prass, a petite small-town girl with a feather-light voice and White, a Stevie Wonder devotee who looks like he had been left by his hippy friends somewhere in the forests of Maine in the late 60s and only now managed to find his way back home. Together they could have formed an outcast folk-duo and recorded a dozen of albums that would only surface decades later after being discovered and proclaimed genius by some nerdy music journalist… Ok, I got carried away with this storyline. Let’s now focus on their real time careers.
Some years ago White launched his own indie-label Spacebomb Records where he and his house band created the excellent debut album „Big Inner“ in 2012. He also was a leader of avant-garde jazz band Fight The Big Bull and collaborated with the likes of Justin Vernon, Sharon van Etten and the Mountain Goats. Last year saw the release of his sophomore LP „Fresh Blood“ that came out via Domino Records. Natalie Prass meanwhile toured with Jenny Lewis being her keyboardist and backing singer, and worked with Ryan Adams. Her debut string-and-horn-heavy album which was produced by White on his mentioned label came out last year to wide critical acclaim.
Despite collaborating with each other for so many years, the first time they came together on the mic was last January when they put out the song called „Cool Out“. Starting off with an intro that instantly reminds you of Nick Cave’s „Red Right Hand“ the one-off single later expands into a light-themed love song. „But cool out baby please, no one likes it when you tease a friend“ – they croon in the bridge of this retro-pop song, describing the feelings of two persons who try to take it slow in the beginning of their romantic relationships.
For „Cool Out“ the pair teamed up with Stones Throw resident DJ Harrison who made the track sound more groovy. Still, it follows the blueprint laid down by White’s latest somewhat funky recordings rather than Prass‘ melancholic ballads.