Tuesday, July 19, 2011

One of the Dirty Projectors, Not one of the Baldwin Brothers

Nat Baldwin is probably better known for his day job (if you can call it that) as double bassist and singer-songwriter for the high-flying lo-fi act Dirty Projectors. Taking a step away from that band's output, Baldwin has a wonderful - and wonderfully quirky - solo record out on Western Vinyl entitled People Changes.

It's not a complete departure from stuff you'd find on Bitte Orca (we're not talking about a grime record or death metal here) but thankfully it stands on its own. Baldwin's voice - literally and figuratively - is different than DP's main man Dave Longstreth, though he shares an affinity for peculiar phrasing that rises and falls in seeming opposition to where you think the tune is going (as evidenced on opener "A Little Lost").

Baldwin plays to his strengths on People Changes - he clearly knows his instrument inside and out and he wrings every possible sound out of it in service of the music. Consider "Real Fakes" where he works the bow down below the bridge to mirror the skronking horns at the four-minute mark after overdubbing ominous bowed notes with pizzicato strikes at the lower register until that point. The song begs to be listened to at least once paying attention only to Baldwin doubling down on his double-bass. It's outstanding stuff.

"Weights" is the first single from the album People Changes and is available as a free mp3. The video for "Weights" was, in true Brooklyn fashion, recorded live on a local basketball court. Lovely stuff.

Be sure to visit Baldwin's Facebook and Western Vinyl profile page.

Thanks for reading, now start listening...