For neo-soul hip-hop mavens Natural Born Leaders, the original track “Abominable Creatures” invokes fond memories. In the summer of 2018, the band submitted a live version of the song to NPR Music’s famed Tiny Desk Contest. Despite thousands of entries garnered, the eclectic performance style (and unique filming location) of Natural Born Leaders remained among the most memorable. Weeks later, when songwriter Naia Izumi was crowned the 2018 Tiny Desk Contest winner, Natural Born Leaders, too, were granted a moment in the spotlight, landing a feature interview on the nationally syndicated Weekend Edition program.
Today, Top Shelf Music premieres the highly anticipated studio version of “Abominable Creatures” - the title track off Natural Born Leaders’ sophomore EP, out October 24. With a sweeping "sound that floats seamlessly between rock, reggae, jazz, hip-hop [and] funk” (Live Music Daily), the forthcoming album is slated to deliver the same head-turning flair that put NBL on the map in the first place, while introducing brand new, heavy hitting verses and soul-shaking chants about love, desire, and the often uncomfortable sides of the human experience.
On Abominable Creatures, Natural Born Leaders live up to their name; each track laced with empowering messages about standing up, standing out, and dreaming big. With lyric-driven anthems, lead singer and songwriter Michael Martinez injects a generous helping of social commentary into each verse, proving that music - and all forms of art - can be both consumed for enjoyment and digested with purpose. With influences ranging from the head-banging nature of Black Sabbath and Metallica, to the old-school energy of Outkast and Lauryn Hill, Natural Born Leaders weave rich bass lines, sexy brass and electrifying guitar solos into a sound all their own. Paired with the charisma of frontman Martinez, the long-playing debut of Abominable Creatures is ripe with some of the most revolution-stirring antics one can sneak into a six-song collection.
With platinum producer and engineer Patrick Doyle (Jennifer Lopez, Handshakes), Grammy winning engineer Julian Dreyer (Steep Canyon Rangers, The Avett Brothers), the mastering skills of Howie Weinberg(Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Metallica), and the recording home base of Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, NC, Abominable Creatures comes complete with an all-star cast of collaborators.
This fall, Natural Born Leaders can be found traversing the continental United States in support of Abominable Creatures, bringing the gospel of grassroots hip-hop to a club near you. On the heels of a packed summer touring schedule - including appearances at Mile of Music Festival and the band’s first ever West Coast run - NBL will be making their way through much of the Southeast before landing in their hometown of Asheville, NC to rock The Mothlight onNovember 2. A list of upcoming tour dates can be found below, with more to be announced in the coming weeks.
Abominable Creatures will be available on all streaming platforms on Thursday, October 24. To learn more about Natural Born Leaders, please visit www.naturalbornleadersband.com.
Natural Born Leaders Album Release Tour Dates
08.31 - Lexington, KY - Best Friend Bar
09.05-7 - Pipestem, WV - CultureFest
09.28 - Greencastle, IN - Livestock Music Festival
10.12 - Greenville, SC - Radio Room
10.16 - Raleigh, NC - The Pour House
10.17 - Richmond, VA - Richmond Music Hall
10.20 - New York, NY - Sofar Sounds
10.23 - Columbus, OH - The Summit
10.24 - Louisville, KY - Mag Bar
10.31 - Johnson City, TN - Capone’s
11.02 - Asheville, NC - The Mothlight