Hymn For Her
Roots-Rock and Folky Americana At It’s Finest.
It might be a bit of an exaggeration to say that regular visitors to the area, Hymn For Her were the the Stars of the Jumpin’ Hot Club stage at SummerTyne Festival 2018, as their raw Rootsy Rocking n Rolling Folky Americana isn’t always ‘commercial’ nor ‘easy on the ear’; but they certainly won hundreds of new admirers, and when I passed the Merch stand Lucy and Wayne were always very busy autographing numerous CDs for a long line of music fans.
After seeing Hymn For Her four times now and owning their last release DRIVE TIL U DIE, I never know what to expect as this wonderful duo constantly reinvent themselves after immersing themselves in some new rich and exotic culture; which is sort of theme, if there is one here.
For only two people with an array of banjos, cigar box guitars, kazoos, fiddle and a mini drum kit they sure do make a big sound here; none more so than the sub-psychedelic Blue Balloons which opens the record with a lush arrangement and honeyed harmonies that you could almost bathe in.
While at home on a Festival stage, what can sometimes be lost in those performances is the subtly of their stories and the intricacy of their playing as they battle the elements.
Here Scoop becomes a delicious slice of Americana Pie, with Lucy hardly ever sounding finer and later on Shallow Graves you find yourself puzzled at first, then as the dark tale unravels you end up listening open mouthed. Powerful stuff indeed.
The couple’s charming daughter Diver makes a couple appearances here, adding some spacious and sorrowful violin to the sadder than sad Yard Sale on which Wayne seamlessly goes into Ryan Adams mode.
AHA! There it is……First Clown On The Moon; a rip roaring, raucous and fanciful ‘love song’ originally inspired by Diver’s dream of growing up to be the ‘first ballerina on the moon’; and a song that had them dancing in the aisles as the sun shone over the river at SummerTyne; and if one song actually defined Hymn For Her I guess it would be this one.
Or, it could also be the feisty and frantic Human Condition which comes straight out punching well above it’s weight and leaving the listener on the ropes as Wayne regales us with “You’re born crying/you live complaining/you die disappointed!” as we are beaten into submission.
Ain’t that the truth brothers and sisters?
On another day that would and should have been my Favourite Track; but I’m going to be contrary by selecting the Spanish flavoured Rose for no other reason than it’s simply delightful and a little bit epic.
There’s a little bit of everything here and it all gels magnificently; and that’s the beauty of Hymn For Her.
Released October 5th 2018