French AmericanaJazz Artist NATE releases Pilgram

By Brian Rock

If you like Americana and Jazz and you ever find yourself in France, you should definitely check out the band Nate. If your travel budget keeps you closer to home, check out Nate’s new album, Pilgrim. Rooted in Jazz, Blues and Americana, Nate combines these elements with a continental, subdued elegance for a truly unique sound.

Getting the show on the road with “On The Road,” Nate combines Blues and Cocktail Jazz (complete with clarinet and whisk drumming) to create their spin on a traditional travelling blues story. Lead singer, Nathalie Blomme adds a sultriness to complete the perfect smoke-filled, film noir effect. Part Nora Jones and part Natalie Merchant, Blomme brings an earthy tenderness and vulnerability to each of the songs on this album.

“Little Sad Men” brings a more acoustic, Americana feel as Blomme sings about striving for more than just a life of quiet desperation. Singing, “Why are we afraid to fall, to touch the ground and caress the earth…? How come we forgot the sun and moon… for the gain of a few golden cents?” Nathalie urges us to consider that life is more than just clinging to security. Continuing, she sings, “Let me feel life and let me hope. Let’s hope for not being little sad men. The day I stopped believing in fate, my life began.” She is clearly telling us to take control of our own lives and leave the worrying to others. This sentiment is even more poignant when you understand that Nathalie Blomme was severely injured in a car crash and has been partially paralyzed ever since. Truly a pilgrim, Nathalie seeks spiritual answers to the seeming randomness of her circumstance. But refusing to be ruled by fate, Blomme sings defiantly about life and hope from her wheelchair.

The song “Hope” personifies her strength and resolve. Singing, “I loved a thought, an absurd idea of happiness… What do we really know, except we are here and now,” Blomme reminds us to let go of the past and stop worrying about the future. If we are to find peace at all, we must find it here and now.

Blomme’s lyrical insights abound throughout the album as she tackles issues of love, life and spiritual identity. But it is the musical diversity that keeps her musings fresh and compelling. From the sparse and ethereal, “Trip To The Stars” to the 60’s girl group sound of “Should I” and from the Hammond organ – spiced, “Pilgrim” to the “Mr. Bojangles” inspired “We,” Blomme and company deliver tasty little “bon mots” of philosophy wrapped in a jazzy confection of rhythms. As they say in France, “bon appetite!”  |  buy

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