As Nat Baldwin lugs his double bass down the forest footpath and up under the highway overpass, balancing on the steep embankment, the setting becomes telling about the kind of music that he makes. The big double bass looks particularly artisanal against the concrete face of the overpass that cuts through the trees; Baldwin stands there, holding all of the pieces together. The classical strings swell rhythmically and with a studied minimalism, while his voice finds a passion that sounds elemental and completely earnest. I told Nat that the strings on this one remind me of the pulsing kind of stuff that Reich or Philip Glass like to write, and he replied with a list of influences that served me as a nice primer on contemporary classical innovators from the last half-century – Edgard Varèse through Karlheinz Stockhausen. It was then that I realized that besides being the bass player in the Dirty Projectors, and beyond being the go-to-guy du jour for string arrangements, Nat Baldwin is a musician with some serious jazz, chamber and contemporary chops that knows how to write an endearing pop song just as well.
‘In the Hollows’ is unreleased, though Nat thinks the track will find a home on some album in the future. Nat is currently on tour in support of his new album People Changes, out now.
Text by Chris Hampton
Video by Mitch Fillion