HoneyChild – Nearer The Earth
I know, I know, I said I was going to write about lots of things, not just music, and certainly wasn’t going to post any more music things until I’d finally whipped a piece of fiction/prose/comment of some sort into shape, conceivably even the sort of narrative writing of which blogs are *supposed* to consist. (The fact that I may have only said these things to my self in no way lessens their validity, honest…)
But then this happened.
And when Adam Duritz says a debut album is worth listening to, it’s probably worth listening to. Something of an expert in the making of epic, moment-defining debuts (if you’ve never heard August and Everything After do yourself a favour, acquire a copy and lock yourself in a quiet room with it for a few days), when AD says so, II tend to give it a spin.
Sometimes the opening track of an album is just bewitching somehow, complex and profound, not giving all its secrets away instantly and somehow intriguing for it. “The Father”, opening track on HoneyChild’s Nearer The Earth, is an almost perfect example of the phenomenon. It pulls you in with sparks of melodic and lyrical intrigue. The opening stanza
My baby left to an eastern shore
She’s gonna be better now cause she don’t call
I pray to the gods in the eastern light
But I can’t shake my shadow in the middle of the night
has all that timeless, universal folksong charm guaranteed to get me to stick around and find out what happens next.
Vaguely in the same acoustic-folk-pop-rock ballpark as Fleet Foxes, Felice Brothers, Mumford & Sons, Augustana (really not that alike, but imagine a Venn diagram where they all overlap a little), HoneyChild are a trio who hail from Los Angeles, California. Think banjo, mandolin, acoustic guitars and big, ringy metallic snare sounds.
So what happens next? A slow surrender to the urge to make good pop music, I suppose. I’m only three listens through and already I’m pretty sure I’m going to know some of these choruses off by heart by the end of the summer. “Jokers Wild” sounds like a lost Powderfinger or Goo Goo Dolls track, had these bastions of corny singalong rock suddenly descovered restraint, good taste and deftness of touch.
You can download Nearer The Earth for free here. Go have a listen and let me know what you think. I might have just found the soundtrack to my summer.