Tag Archive for 'soundtrack'

The Horse’s Ha Return After A Five Year Hiatus With Sophomore Release – Waterdrawn – Out 8/20/13

HorsesHa_Outerjacket

I’ll admit that the first album from Janet Beveridge Bean and James Elkington as The Horse’s Ha– titled Of The Cathmawr Yards seemed to me a bit too self-contained to support a second.  It seemed like a one-off concept to me — both the band name and the album title came from the same Dylan Thomas short story about the occupants of a cematery rising from their graves. The album carried with it a specific central dark or macabre theme. I wrote a fairly in-depth analysis of the album in my review of it HERE.

So, it was unexpected news when Janet told me over a year ago that they had new songs in the works. I had just started helping her with the band Facebook page and she shared with me a few rough mixes, which were as beautiful as the first album songs.

The new album, titled Waterdrawn continues with the 60’s and 70’s English Folk Revival-influenced music of the first album. The press material mentions the album being influenced by the seminal Shirley Collins and Davy Graham 1964 album Folk Roots, New Routes and indeed the barebones acoustic guitar and lovey soprano vocal arrangement seems to be a clear template for Waterdrawn.

That said, there seems to be a more sinister influence at work, here.

“We kind of like to think of it as horror folk akin to soundtrack stuff from films like the Wiccan-themed (1973 British Horror film) “The Wicker Man” Bean told me. So, the dark themes from Of The Cathmawr Yards continues on Waterdrawn.

Portland, OR indie label Fluff and Gravy will be releasing Waterdrawn on August 20th on CD and Vinyl (bless them!) Until then, you can listen to “The Dying Tree”

Please visit and “Like” the Facebook page for The Horses Ha HERE

Visit the Horses Ha page on the Fluff and Gravy Website HERE.

The Horses Ha will be performing at The Hideout in Chicago for their Record Release show on Thursday, August 22nd.

Overheard on TV: Helvetica Documentary Soundtrack

A friend of mine recommended that I watch the 2007 documentary dedicated to the typeface/font Helvetica titled plainly enough Helvetica. When I saw it show up in the NetFlix streaming recommendations for me, I watched it.

Helvetica the typeface was designed in 1957 by the Swiss type foundry Haas to be a general-use typeface. It was an immediate success and adopted virtually everywhere since, and enjoys constant use to this day. This documentary by Gary Hustwit looks at the typeface and its success and shows how its existence impacted graphic design over the years. Hustwit also produced the amazing Wilco documentary I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, the Robert Moog documentary Moog, and the Death Cab For Cutie tour film Drive Well, Sleep Carefully.

I found myself very engrossed in the film as I have been a type geek ever since my first Macintosh in the 80’s. The movie talks a bit about the reaction to standard typesetting practices in the 90’s during the “grunge” movement, which yielded a couple of my favorite magazines Emigre and Raygun which were the leading edge of that movement which I was a fan of which included the work Vaughan Oliver did with v.23/23 Envelope for 4AD records.

One of the things that hooked me right away was the soundtrack to the movie (of course!). It has a collection of really great Post Rock and related artists on it like El Ten Eleven (an impressive NINE songs!), Sam Prekop and The Chicago Underground Quartet. Here is the song listing from imdb.com:

“Thinking Loudly” –  El Ten Eleven
“Lorge” – El Ten Eleven
“Central Nervous Piston” – El Ten Eleven
“My Only Swerving” – El Ten Eleven
“Fanshawe” – El Ten Eleven

These songs are from El Ten Eleven’s 2005 self-titled release.

“Meow”-  Motohiro Nakashima
“Potala” – Motohiro Nakashima

These songs are from his 2004 release And I Went to Sleep.

“Helvetica 2” –  Kim Hiorthoy
“Helvetica 9” – Kim Hiorthoy

Kim Hiorthoy is, according to his Wikipedia article, a Norwegian electronic musician. He’s been recording since 2000 and has a number of releases out. These two tracks are obviously done specifically for this movie.

“Every Direction is North” –  El Ten Eleven
“Bye Annie, Bye Joe, Bye Michael, Bye Jake” incorrectly titled “Bye 2” – El Ten Eleven
“Hot Cakes” – El Ten Eleven
“3+4” – El Ten Eleven

These songs are from El Ten Eleven’s 2007 release Every Direction is North.

“Seqy Chords 3” –Sam Prekop
“Seqy Solo” –Sam Prekop

These songs by Sam Prekop of The Sea and Cake appear to be written specifically for this release– or at least only appear here. I wonder if these songs are somehow related to the CD that came with his photography book?

“IPT2” –  Battles

This song is from the Battles 2006 release on Warp called EP C/B EP.

“Tunnel Chrome” –  Chicago Underground Quartet

This track is from Rob Mazurek’s Chicago Underground Quartet project’s 2001 self-titled Thrill Jockey release.

“Magic Step” – Sam Prekop

This song is from Prekop’s 2005 release Who’s Your New Professor on Thrill Jockey.

“And Then Patterns” – Four Tet

This song is from the brilliant 2007 Four Tet release Everything Ecstatic

“Pelican Narrows” – Caribou

This track is from his 2005 Merge Records release The Milk of Human Kindness.

“Shine” – The Album Leaf

This track is taken from The Album Leaf’s 2006 release on SubPop Into the Blue Again.

This is a pretty great collection of bands– mostly ones that I really like and admire– and the two artists that I hadn’t heard of (Nakashima and Hiorthoy) I plan to check out. I’m not the first blogger to comment on the soundtrack, and one of them even made an iTunes mix of it. It would be great if they’d release this soundtrack– if only the ones that are specific to this movie from Sam Prekop and Hiorthoy!

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