America is in a state of turmoil. Conflict. Confusion. Expand your horizons a bit past the border and realize that the rest of the world is quickly falling suit. What’s happening? Why can’t there be clarity in the chaos? Ever since the rise of terrorism, technology and political foul play, this nation — in particular — has been hit hard… struggling to regain a foothold of the old status quo. Whatever a status quo may mean these days, that is. Music has been a mouthpiece for the general public to either commiserate or invigorate others for change. Something’s gotta give. Enter a hip hop meets rock band out of Asheville, North Carolina with an overt social agenda. One, now that you mention it, who also has quite a literal name.
Natural Born Leaders isn’t afraid to hold back, evident in their sophomore EP out next month entitled Abominable Creatures. This six-song project, packed with social commentary, follows the band’s inaugural EP About Time and a life-changing contest last year. The genre-bending five-piece entered NPR’s prestigious Tiny Desk Contest with a live version of “Abominable Creatures”… and placed within the top 10. NBL performed the track in a tiny corner of a convenient store for their video submission to NPR, a tribute to lead singer Michael Martinez’s New Jersey roots, where he “used to count the days by nights and drive bys”. But, as the song’s lyrical content conveys, we’re all cut from the same cloth; humans err no matter the upbringing. Like Martinez is “only drinking liquor” when out of a “chalice”, society at large self-destructs through the very items that symbolize our success. Climb the ranks the best you can, yet always remember that face-planting on the ceiling hits just as hard as the floor. With disorienting distortion on the guitar and saxophone, paired to an ebb and flow of tempo, the track illuminates just how far down the rabbit hole we’ve fallen. Contorted? Yes. Do we like it? Absolutely.
Natural Born Leaders isn’t afraid to hold back, evident in their sophomore EP out next month entitled Abominable Creatures.
The contest results got NBL featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon, enlarging their fanbase evermore and cementing their name as up-and-coming industry game-changers. Even before the radio spot, NBL’s sound garnered them the attention of platinum record holder Patrick Doyle (Jennifer Lopez, Earth Wind & Fire, Cory Rooney) to produce their first EP as well as Abominable Creatures, recording the latter between his private home studio and sessions at the band’s hometown Echo Mountain Recording Studio.
Martinez comments, “‘Abominable Creatures’ is about my association with time and progress in my life. And, like many of our songs, it serves as a reminder to me of how large or insignificant we all could be.”
With the EP’s release right around the corner on October 24th, Top Shelf Music is proud to host the world premiere of Natural Born Leader’s “Abominable Creatures” — the studio version. Yet, this is just a taste of what’s to come. For more information, visit the band links below after you enjoy the exclusive stream of the band’s latest single.