In The Hollows
Out now via Western Vinyl
“Whether Baldwin is singing with his throat or his bow, there’s a thrilling feeling of freedom to it all.”
Despite his busy schedule recording and touring as the bass player for Dirty Projectors, Nat Baldwin found time to write and record his most soulful and ambitious collection of songs to date.
After recording the initial tracks at Machines With Magnets in Pawtucket, RI, Nat recruited Otto Hauser (Vetiver, Lia Ices, Espers) for drums and percussion and Rob Moose (The National, Antony and the Johnsons, Bon Iver) and Clarice Jensen for string arrangements.
Discussing the album’s production, Nat says “I wanted to achieve a consistency throughout that my past albums have lacked. I wanted the strings to add to the mournful quality of the songs, weaving their way through the sonic terrain, providing emotional emphasis, but also leaving necessary amounts of space. Albums by Nick Drake, Judee Sill, Joanna Newsom, Antony & the Johnsons, and Bill Callahan, to name a few, provided inspiration in balancing that intimacy with minimal, but powerful, adornments.”
Much of the album was written while Nat was training for a marathon at his home in Maine. According to Nat, “I had a pretty rigorous and consistent routine of running/working out early in the morning, and working on music all afternoon/evening. I also started reading obsessively during this time, as I wasn’t moving around much after the morning marathon training. Some of the songs were inspired by books I was reading, and some were inspired by my lifestyle.”
Blending autobiographical details with fiction, the songs cover a wide range of topics including boxing, drowning, bodybuilding, target practice, will power, Steve Prefontaine, competition, separation, isolation, devastation, manipulation, conflagration, intoxication, and suicide.
Immersive, athletic, and often profound, In the Hollows represents his clearest and most consistent album-length statement, melodically, structurally, and lyrically. Nat explains that “I hope it is as unsettling as it is beautiful. I want it to make people feel things they can’t describe.”