Monday, January 19, 2009

Gregory and the Hawk- Moenie & Kitchi

The Meredith Godreau led project, Gregory and the Hawk already enjoyed a fair share of DIY success since starting out back in '06 with their 'The Boats and Birds' EP. The band have since signed on to Fat Cat Records, which might have raised expectations for their newest disc, Moenie & Kitchi.
The latest effort definitely sees the band expanding their sound, going with a broader array of instrumentation and much fuller arrangements than on previous works. There's no doubt that upon hearing Godreau's voice, that there is an unmistakable innocence and child like quality to it. But on Moenie & Kitchi she manages to make the latest batch of songs sound more mature, and in a sense gives them a timeless quality. Straight from the album's opener "Oats We Sow", you can tell that you're in for a much different G&H album, as the track is built around off kilter beats and strings, which come to a nice little flourish at the end. In fact, it should be noted that the drumming on the album from Adam Christgau is outstanding, and heavily steers the album at its core.
There are defining moments on the disc, like the tracks "Ghosts" and "Stone Wall, Stone Fence", where Godreau sets the tone of the record. While G&H's songs are known for their simple, delicately built manner, Godreau steers these tracks into different waters. “Ghost” is a departure, with more of a straight ahead electric feel to it, even adding trumpet, and much bigger sounding drums. “Stonewall, Stone Fence” has a much darker, menacing tone, that sees the track descend into a heavy industrial-electro led groove. Even the more classic sounding G&H filled tracks on the disc take on a different feel. Like the slow easy shuffle of "Doubtful", which builds into a noisy crescendo that never quite explodes, and the song "Harmless", where Godreau's voice takes a lower register, but yet still seems to float over the heavy strumming of her electric guitar.
The recording of 'Moenie and Kitchi' was said to have been somewhat different for the band, with many of the instruments & most of vocals being recorded simultaneously in just one take. Perhaps that is what gives the album its unique yet familiar feel for G&H, being built around that gentle foundation, but yet adding just the right edge to it.

Gregory and the Hawk myspace.

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