Thursday, November 18th, 2010
Review of Gregory & The Hawk’s Leche
Annie RaczI liked Gregory & The Hawk’s last record, 2008’s Moenie & Kitchi. Really, I did. The combination of New Yorker Meredith Godreau’s sweet, girlish voice and her gentle, mostly-acoustic, semi-orchestral folk-pop is like kryptonite to me and maybe that’s why I was able to resist it – it’s the sort of record I’ve bought a dozen times before and while it’s not a style that I’m necessarily tired of, it is one that requires some above and beyond to really impress me. Which is why, I guess, I hung onto the record but didn’t write it up or make the 10-minute walk – or 5-minute bike ride – to see them at the El Mocambo last May.
The just-released follow-up Leche won’t be so easily ignored, though. While Goudreau hasn’t changed appreciably changed her approach, the new record is an impressive step forward in pretty much all departments. The arrangements are broader this time out, adding more percussion and both electric and electronic textures in just the right amounts to enhance but not obscure the songs’ simple charms. Not that the songs are as simple this time out; they still have the child-like sense of whimsy and fantastical edge to them, but have more dynamic and emotional range and even offer a whiff of darkness or anger that wasn’t present on Moenie. Add to this more immediate and memorable melodies and an unexpected crib of Cutting Crew’s ’80s hit “(I Just) Died In Your Arms”, and you’ve got a record that demands your attention for its own merits, and not just because it sounds like stuff you already like.
Sloucher has an interview with Goudreau.
Spinner talks to Nicole Atkins about her new album Mondo Amore, out January 25, and offers a first look at the album art. Stereogum, meanwhile, has the b-side of her recent “Vultures” single – a Can cover – available to download.
Pitchfork brings word of a Joanna Newsom tribute album with the terrific title of Versions Of Joanna and featuring contributions fromM Ward, Owen Pallett and Billy Bragg, though the first two are previously released recordings and Bragg’s contribution presumably comes from his contribution to the Voice Project. It will be released digitally in December.
Good news: in advance of their show at the Sound Academy that night opening up for Broken Social Scene, Superchunk will be playing an in-store at Sonic Boom on the afternoon of December 9. Bad news: it will be happening at 3PM, making it difficult or impossible to attend if you have a 9-5 job… unless you cut out early like some kind of slack motherfucker.
Baths, Braids and Star Slinger are teaming up for a show at the El Mocambo on February 19, tickets $12. Baths’ debut Cerulean was released this past Summer, Braids’ debut Native Speaker is out January 18.