Double bassist/singer-songwriter Nat Baldwin released People Changes last spring on Western Vinyl. People Changes is much like the stark Maine setting in which it was created. Of course, his fourth full-length shows welcome markings of his experimental bent from years as the Dirty Projectors bassist and former disciple of free jazz legend Anthony Braxton, but the serene isolation of 17 million acres of New England forestland make this cabin-born set intimate and sincere. Nat Baldwin will kick off a spring tour tonight in support of the release. All dates are listed below.
Baldwin first penned the songs on People Changes in 2007, allowing the arrangements to evolve before the final recording in the spring of 2010. A lean ensemble of talented, time-proven friends was enlisted for the studio–some dating back to his New Hampshire childhood–chosen specifically to create the album’s earnest live sound. Their apt decision to record voice and bass live on most tracks is quickly felt on opener “A Little Lost,” letting Baldwin’s softly warbled falsetto hug a heartfelt cover of Arthur Russell’s sacred love song. Woodwinds flit and pull against contrabass pulses on “Weights,” then recede to let Baldwin’s bare performance stir on “Real Fakes.” The full cast of Nat’s touring ensemble handsomely match the bold arrangements of “Lifted,” followed by jagged improvisation on “What Is There” and a tender rendition of Kurt Weisman’s “Let My Spirit Rise” to finish. Charged throughout by lyrics crisp and strong, People Changes is a slice through the void of late nights spent among tall pines.
The album follows A Split EP with Extra Life (2008, Shatter Your Leaves) on which earlier versions of “Weights” and “Lifted” appear, Most Valuable Player (2008), Enter the Winter (2006) and Lights Out EP (2005) on Broken Sparrow Records, and his experimental free jazz debut Solo Contrabass (2003, Peacock Recordings). In addition to Dirty Projectors, Nat Baldwin has performed on Vampire Weekend’s Contra and Department of Eagles’ In Ear Park.
Nat Baldwin Tour Dates
March 24 Brooklyn, NY • Union Pool w/ Glass Ghost Sam Mickens
March 25 Philadelphia, PA • First Unitarian Chapel w/ Extra Life
March 27 Cincinnati, OH • The Ice Cream Factory w/ Sacred Spirits, ShadoWraptr
March 28 Bloomington, IN • The Bishop w/ Qur’an Qur’an, Snaarj
March 29 North Manchester, IN • The Firehouse w/ Ryan Kerr
March 30 Chicago, IL • The Hideout w/ Sun Rooms
March 31 Gambler, OH • The Horn Gallery w/ Bellows
April 1 Youngstown, PA • Cedar’s Lounge w/ Andre Costella, The Building
April 3 Baltimore, MD • Metro Gallery w/ Co La, Lexie Mountain