Deserving of your full attention
Keira Burgess 2008
Gregory And The Hawk’s Meredith Godreau devised her mysterious moniker back in 2003 to avoid being recklessly slung into the female singer-songwriter category by lazy journalists and first-glance cover browsers. Joined by Mike McGuire two years later, and regularly employing the considerable talents of freelance musicians including bassist Jeff Ratner and drummer Adam Christgau she releases her second album, Moenie & Kitchi, into a musical environment primed for her unique brand of pop-come-experimental-folk.
The market has been recently drenched with a wave of twee female modern folk of this ilk, but Gregory And The Hawk differentiate themselves from the likes of Stina Nordernstam and Lykke Li in their adventurous yet understated use of instrumentation. At the forefront of this effort is the drumming of Christgau, at times a military march, then ominous bass, with cymbal crashes and sporadic backbeats in between. Shouldering off the traditional role of instrumental timekeeper, the drums take the lead in Voice Like A Bell, and lay the foundations of a crescendo in Oats We Sow.
The other indispensable element of the outfit is doubtless Meredith's super sweet vocal, which sits best in the fragility of August Moon, a track which sounds like it could have been recorded in a hut in the woods on a Dictaphone, and then left for decades to be discovered by some lucky wanderer. The pop core of the album is evident in its tracklist of three and a half minute songs; only the ambient Stonewall, Stone Fence ventures over the marker and on into five minutes of passionate cacophony broken by vocally adorned lulls.
Unsurprisingly, the single Ghosts represents the most mainstream of songs on the album, and whilst definitely listenable, falls flat in comparison to the brave experimentation of the rest. Moenie & Kitchi is an album deserving of your full attention, for twee background musak, look elsewhere.