A couple weeks ago I had a shoot with the brilliant photographer Ross Garrett. These are the results. You can find more of his work at rossgarrett.net .
Review by Floris Groenewald (@flrsi)
Photo provided by Gil Hockman (@GilHockman)
Gil Hockman is back! Following up his debut solo album, Too early in the journey, he’s released a pay-what-you-want EP (available from gilhockman.bandcamp.com) called All the things.
While Too early in the journey consisted mostly of cover songs, the tracks on All the things are Gil’s originals. And while the familiar elements are there, it really seems like new ground is reached. I always appreciate original songs more, and the overall sound has definitely evolved from the previous album.
The EP confidently opens with an electric guitar, inviting you in to something exciting and fresh. It’s a sound that wants to belong with the “classics” of the (not necessarily acoustic) folk genre, without bringing a specific artist to mind too much. It might even lean a bit towards adult contemporary or alternative pop. Is that an insult? I hope not.
Pressed for a comparison, I might mention names like Johannes Kerkorrel, Stef Bos, and Riku Latti (now known as Victor S Wolf). Just as a rough idea of what to picture.
Hockman’s decision to accept add some electric guitars, piano and clarinet paid off, turning this EP into a vibrant and eclectic collection, which turns in slightly new directions every now and then.
Emotionally and lyrically also, the EP feels diverse even though the whole thing dwells a bit on depression, loss, and pessimism. Even The Ballad of George Marchinkowski, with its upbeat tune and “what a perfect day it would be” refrain seems narrated by a cynic who works hard to feel hopeful. But All the things certainly works with a misery-loves-company kind of sadness. Break a smile, for example, is a slightly humorous breakup song, which seems oddly specific and familiar at the same time – a pat on the back if you’ve experienced a similar loss.
It would be wrong to call All the things a “new direction” in Gil Hockman’s work, but a “shift in gear” might be appropriate. It’s higher-gear Hockman which I’d definitely recommend to anyone who doesn’t mind sad songs. Especially when you can get it for however much you want to (or don’t want to) pay for it.
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