Release Date: Apr 29, 2014
Record label: Western Vinyl Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Experimental Rock
Though bassist/songwriter Nat Baldwin's solo music began in avant-garde improvisation and jazz, he eventually found those exploratory impulses filtering into work with a variety of more unconventional indie bands, which in turn may have shifted the focus of his own efforts. Baldwin served as bassist for experimental pop act Dirty Projectors on some of their most well-conceived albums, as well as contributing to recordings by Vampire Weekend, Department of Eagles, and numerous other indie acts that leaned toward chamber pop and unconventional readings of song structure and arrangement. On In the Hollows, Baldwin's sixth solo album and first since 2011's People Changes, his voice floats atop brilliant string arrangements that tap into the same understated magic of the various bands he's been affiliated with but highlight his gift for tense but beautiful songwriting.
Best known as the bass player from Brooklyn experimental art-popsters Dirty Projectors, Nat Baldwin also has a pretty busy list of side-projects on the go. As well as working with the likes of Vampire Weekend, Grizzly Bear and Department Of Eagles, he’s also recorded a number of solo albums, with this latest offering being his fourth. A glimpse at the tracklisting may suggest that In The Hollows is quite a grim listen: songs like A Good Day To Die, Bored To Death and Wasted certainly don’t suggest that Nat Baldwin is in the LMAFO tribute act business.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Nat Baldwin's third album In The Hollows boasts a consistent and captivating quality that is almost as mesmerising as his live shows. If you've never seen Baldwin in concert then try and catch him next time he's in your city. There is something otherworldly about the combination of his double bass's powerful depth and the fragility of his voice, akin to the soulful delicacy of Nick Drake or Anthony Hegarty.
An upright bass-playing torch singer? The gist of Nat Baldwin’s music is more interesting than his membership in Dirty Projectors, the selling point his name has most often generated for much of the last decade. But by himself, or with any number of high-caliber collaborators, Baldwin is a singer/songwriter who employs his upright bass in much the same way as most people stuck to that tag use a piano, a guitar, or even a cello—to form the musical foundation for tense, impressionistic tunes. His fluttering, agile voice, capable of falsetto crests and valley-deep dives, only adds to the intrigue.
Whereas most of us would struggle with recording and touring in just one successful band, it seems that Dirty Projector’s bassist Nat Baldwin has other ideas as he releases his most cohesive collection of solo songs to date. His new nine-track album In The Hollows sees him further strike out on his own to explore original string compositions that go some way to bridge the gap between experimental and classical. Marrying delicate song writing and minimalistic instrumentation, his sparse yet multi-faceted numbers are self-confessedly sculpted to “achieve a consistency throughout that my past albums have lacked”.