In 'The Fire,' Natalie Prass Revels In Ruins Of Presidents Past

Sep 12, 2018

Crisscross the country and you'll find plenty of memorials to American presidents, from stately monuments to parks and preserved spaces to highways and historic homes. Presidents Park, a roadside open-air museum in Williamsburg, Va., was one such tribute. The 10-acre park, which cost about $10 million to create, once housed 43 massive presidential busts, each 18 to 20 feet tall. When it shuttered in 2010, the land was sold, statues not included. Rather than destroy the sculptures, the heads were relocated to Howard Hankins' family farm in Croaker, Va., where the busts have fallen into disrepair.

In a new video for "The Fire," directed by Alex Germanotta, Natalie Prass, dressed in pink hues, dances through the crumbling ruins, a colorful contrast to the presidential faces once held in esteem. Tight shots reveal the wear and tear of the faces of men revered, now weathered by the elements.

"This video is a statement on power and power dynamics between people in relationships and in society," Prass tells NPR Music. "In the end, I gain power, but then I take it away from myself."

After scrapping the follow-up to her 2015 self-titled debut, Prass wrestled with the results of the 2016 presidential election. The outcome, The Future and The Past, is a reflective — but not heavy-handed — meditation on what happened. "The Fire" captures a feeling of uncertainty, drawing strength in its soaring chorus.

"We felt like we were in a post apocalyptic world," Prass says of the video's setting. "I really enjoyed being so pink and so feminine around these massive, masculine busts. It was difficult sometimes, I didn't really like being on Jackson's shoulder, but it was empowering being up there and feeling bigger than him for the moment."

The Future and The Past is out now via ATO Records.

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