[18 June 2014]
PopMatters Assistant Editor
After touring and writing music with Blind Pilot, musician Kati Claborn found herself with some tunes in need of a home. Upon teaming up with friend and frequent collaborator Erik Clampitt, Claborn began what has now become Hook & Anchor, a Portland-based Americana group. Their forthcoming self-titled debut represents a rousing take on a tried-and-true, distinctly American style of music.
The quirkily titled “Concerning Spectral Pinching”, available to stream below, is one of Hook & Anchor‘s standout numbers. Beginning with the rustic sound of a see-sawing fiddle, the track then segues into a rollicking middle section, which is capped off by an echoey vocal passage for multiple voices.
Claborn explains the story behind the track: “‘Concerning Spectral Pinching’ is about youth and rebellion, strength and vengeance. It is also a song about witches. Occasionally, I like to approach songwriting like a book report. This song was originally about the Salem witch trials until I tossed out most of the facts and focused on re-imagining a young woman at the center of one such persecution, one who is guilty and remorseless.
“When we went into the studio, we wanted the song to sound like it was being chased by an angry mob with torches and pitchforks. We did all of the initial tracking live at Type Foundry Studio in Portland, Oregon, in one vast wood-floored, instrument-filled room.”
Loaded with vibrant musicianship, classic folk storytelling, and Telecaster twang, “Concerning Spectral Pinching” is just but one of many reasons why Hook & Anchor is a project all fans of Americana ought set their sights on.
Hook & Anchor is out through Jealous Butcher/Woodphone on July 22nd.