Nat Osborn + The Free Radicals
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Nat Osborn + The Free Radicals

Band Rock Jazz


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"Nat Osborn + The Free Radicals"

Nat Osborn is a senior at Skidmore College who will graduate in May. Although his musical endeavors began in New York City where he was born and raised, things really started taking shape when he came to Saratoga Springs. As a music and history double major at Skidmore, he is preparing for a musical adventure. His band, Nat Osborn and the Free Radicals, “is what I want I want to do with my life,” he says.

The Free Radicals have been playing all over Saratoga Springs and New York City since the group’s formation in 2007, when Osborn returned from a four-month trip to India. During his time abroad, he began theorizing a way to create a genre-bending sound with a unique blend of musicians when he returned to Skidmore.

Osborn knows that an eight-piece band “is really huge,” but he has been able to make it work.

“What makes us cool is how we all come from different musical backgrounds,” Osborn says. “Ryan Klein is strictly classically trained, Lyle Divinsky is a soul singer, Garret Cook is into art-rock and so on. But I try to write things that fit to everybody’s individual style.”The Free Radicals cannot be pinned down to a single genre. Even though Osborn’s songs are rooted in the traditional singer-songwriter style with catchy choruses, cohesive melodies and politically and emotionally driven lyrics, there is always something more going on. Osborn’s powerful voice and melodies often meld into an instrumental section that brings the music to new heights.

For example, the band’s track “Yours Alone” off of its newest EP skillfully combines many different styles. “It starts in reggae, moves into Klezmer, and then adds hints of metal and ragtime,” says Osborn. “But it is still a catchy pop song,” he said. Each song on the EP seems to spread across a vast musical canvass in the way that only a well-trained musician can orchestrate. “I don’t like stasis,” Osborn adds. “I tend to write songs that move a lot within themselves.”

Just as Osborn’s music moves through a world of styles, his lyrics tackle issues just as expansive. Almost all of his songs have some sort of political edge to them. The first track on the EP, “War Mongers,” may be his most explicitly political song. He rants, “Go buy your cigarettes, they’re just funding foreign debts” in a satirically soft and beautiful tone.

Seeing Nat Osborn and the Free Radicals is quite the musical journey. The amount of energy spilled into his hard rocking yet uniquely composed arrangements makes for an experience that will get you off your feet, and also get you thinking. - The Saratogian


Nat Osborn + The Free Radicals EP 2008



Nat Osborn has always spanned many musical worlds. Equally at ease as a pop songwriter, classical composer, and jazz pianist he has found interesting ways of combining these three interests. He hit the NY scene very young and celebrated his 18th birthday by playing a solo show at famed NYC club The Bitter End. His band Midnight 30 made it to the final round of the Emergenza International Festival and played to a packed house at Webster Hall.
Midnight 30 broke up and Osborn spent four months in India writing an entirely new repertoire, open to any and all sounds. Upon his return he assembled the Free Radicals from a group of musicians with backgrounds as diverse as his interests: a soul singer, a classical oboist, a back-up singer/trumpeter/keyboard player, a clarinet playing drummer with perfect pitch just to name a few. The band released their first recording, a self-titled EP, on their own in the early spring of 2008, which has been selling rapidly on iTunes and at shows. Since the release, they have been selling out shows at colleges in the Northeast and clubs in New York.