10 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Nat Baldwin is one of many Brooklyn musicians to recently emerge from the insular hothouse of the resolutely avant-garde into the more commercial territory of skewed and adventurous, but nonetheless accessible, pop music. Baldwin plays the contra-bass as a melodic lead instrument, plucking, bowing, and otherwise abusing his instrument to create a surprisingly gentle yet forward thinking series of songs simultaneously reminiscent of Arthur Russell at his most reflective, and Morrissey at his most well mannered. On Most Valuable Player Baldwin revisits some of his most successful compositions enlisting a number of talented Brooklyn musicians, foremost among them David Longstreth of the Dirty Projectors, to lend added texture to his already lush sonic palette. Baldwin’s songs have the classical simplicity of soul ballads, yet the instrumental work on otherwise traditionally structured songs like the gentle waltz, “One, Two, Three,” is fearlessly unorthodox. Most Valuable Player is easily Nat Baldwin’s most rewarding and fully realized work, and is as exciting and innovative as the work of his more heralded collaborator David Longstreth.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Nat Baldwin is one of many Brooklyn musicians to recently emerge from the insular hothouse of the resolutely avant-garde into the more commercial territory of skewed and adventurous, but nonetheless accessible, pop music. Baldwin plays the contra-bass as a melodic lead instrument, plucking, bowing, and otherwise abusing his instrument to create a surprisingly gentle yet forward thinking series of songs simultaneously reminiscent of Arthur Russell at his most reflective, and Morrissey at his most well mannered. On Most Valuable Player Baldwin revisits some of his most successful compositions enlisting a number of talented Brooklyn musicians, foremost among them David Longstreth of the Dirty Projectors, to lend added texture to his already lush sonic palette. Baldwin’s songs have the classical simplicity of soul ballads, yet the instrumental work on otherwise traditionally structured songs like the gentle waltz, “One, Two, Three,” is fearlessly unorthodox. Most Valuable Player is easily Nat Baldwin’s most rewarding and fully realized work, and is as exciting and innovative as the work of his more heralded collaborator David Longstreth.

TITLE TIME
3:27
3:41
4:09
2:04
3:15
2:42
3:35
6:24
5:23
4:04

About Nat Baldwin

Bassist Nat Baldwin began his musical career focusing on improvisation and extended technique playing. The beginnings of his music saw him running with the East Coast scene of improvisers that included a group of Wesleyan University improvisers who studied with Anthony Braxton, and he collaborated with artists like Lavender, Jessica Pavone, and pianist Dan St. Clair. As time went on, Baldwin kept a foot in the improvising community as he branched out to work with more pop and indie groups. Baldwin's long list of collaborations included the earnest indie act Tiger Saw, contributions to albums by Vampire Weekend and Department of Eagles, and eventually full-time membership in Dirty Projectors. His solo albums often found him somewhere between these two worlds, releasing splits with bands like Deer Tick or the confrontational Extra Life as well as multiple proper full-lengths to go along with a bevy of EPs and small-run CD-R releases. Notable entries in Baldwin's discography of solo work included 2005's Lights Out, 2006's Enter the Winter, 2007's Most Valuable Player, and 2011's People Changes. In 2013 he released an album of older demo recordings entitled Dome Branches: The MVP Demos and followed in 2014 with the spare string arrangements of In the Hollows. ~ Fred Thomas

  • ORIGIN
    Portsmouth, NH
  • BORN
    1980

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