‘Hold You Like a Harness’ from Hip Hatchet - everyman songs that tell everyday tales(July 05, 2015)
The first time I heard Hip Hatchet was a while ago now in another country, a local radio station playing a track off the ‘Joy and Better Days’ album, that’s when his sonorous voice delivering world weary songs along with a richly layered tune caught my ear. Now here comes his latest, ‘Hold You Like a Harness’ and none of that original attraction has faded, in fact with this album the man moves his music closer to the human heart. Philippe Bronchtein, that’s the real name behind Hip Hatchet’s laid back American folk writes everyman songs that tell everyday tales, revealing routine feelings in a way that makes you understand.
The title track ‘Hold You Like a Harness’ opens powerful lyrics laid across an instantly memorable melody, and that’s what this album brings, songs that come with a built in memory-jog. Have you heard them before or are their messages so timeless that they’ve always been there? That’s what makes these songs so powerful Listen to ‘Coward’s Luck’ and its directness is heavy with meaning, pick up on ‘Travel Map’ and there are more essential truths, the anguish-filled questions asked in ‘Ladies Night’ or the quiet philosophy of ‘Words of Wisdom’.
‘Hold You Like a Harness’ is Hip Hatchet laying down songs for the small hours, smoky bars and days of reflection. He’s heading to this side of the pond in September and October, make the time to go and listen. Website: hiphatchet.com
Review: Tom Franks