After ending a year of so many unfathomable lows, one thing that continues to burn bright is the undying human spirit.
Artists around the world continue to create music despite a global pandemic. Among them is multi-award winning American vocalist, songwriter, and producer Natalie Nicole Gilbert as well as a proud member of the LGBTQ community, who shows her resilience and unfettered creativity by releasing a new album right before the close of 2020.
Her new seasonally appropriate album, Warm Winter, consists of her unique reimaginings of an eclectic mix of 10 songs written by some of the most notable songwriters of our time, including David Foster, Joni Mitchell and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
On her new album, Gilbert collaborated with a multi-faceted team of music heavyweights, including composer and violinist Andrew Joslyn, (Leslie Odom Jr., Macklemore and Lewis, Suzanne Vega), songwriter, composer, orchestrator, film scorer and multi-instrumentalist Dana Bisignano (Oprah, VH1, and Curb Your Enthusiasm), and multiple award-winning TV and film composer Jonathan Still (Dancing With The Stars, Shameless, Inside the NFL).
Gilbert’s Warm Winter album consists of 10 songs that range from traditional Christmas-themed songs to modern-day pop songs. Each track offers a refreshing new take on a familiar song, whether it’s Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rendition of a centuries old Latin hymn “Pie Jesu,” to a contemporary mashup of “What Child Is This” over the melody of “We Three Kings” in “What Child of Kings.”
The artist also leaps around the songwriter spectrum with ambitious covers of Joni Mitchell’s 1971 Christmas folk song “River,” Fleetwood Mac’s 1974 “Landslide,” David Foster’s 1990 “Grown Up Christmas List” and Harry Styles’s 2019 melancholy “Falling.” Gilbert also includes an obscure track “Walking in the Air” from the children’s TV animated film, The Snowman. The sole original track, “Wrapped Up in a Dream Called You,” adds a delightful jazz touch to the album.
Guest artists on the album include vocalist Lisa Ramey (NBC’s The Voice and previous Curve Mag featured artist) and Grammy® Award winning vocalist/songwriter/producer Jarrett Johnson (Take 6, Michael Bublé, Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino). Strings were provided by Andrew Joslyn who played violin and viola on 7 of the 10 tracks, along with Eli Weinberger (Manahem Pressler, Macklemore and Lewis) on cello. Jonathan Still provided the piano and arrangement of “What Child Of Kings”, and Dana Bisignano provided piano on four of the tracks. Warren Pettey adds a soulful jazz piano in “Falling,” “Grown Up Christmas List” and “Landslide.” “Wrapped Up in a Dream Called You” features Steve Rice (who also co-wrote the song) on piano and Jay Thomas on the tenor sax solo, joined by Devan Stovall on drums and Cary Black on bass.
The album was co-produced by Gilbert and Latin Grammy-nominated recording engineer, DJ and remixer Robert Eibach, who mixed and engineered the album. He also provided the beats and all instrumentation on “That Will Be Christmas.”
If you’re wanting some good relaxing music on a cold winter day, during the holidays or beyond, Warm Winter provides a great soundtrack to soothe you.