Music

Gregory & the Hawk: Moenie & Kitchi

Gregory & the Hawk gets signed and then gets sweeter, darker.


Gregory & the Hawk

Moenie & Kitchi

Contributors: Meredith Godreau
Label: Fat Cat
US Release Date: 2008-10-07
UK Release Date: 2008-10-13
Amazon
Amazon
iTunes

Dear Ms. Meredith Godreau,

This year I visited the grave of Nick Drake. If you’ve never been, it’s under this great big tree in the churchyard of St. Mary Magdalene’s (Tanworth-in-Arden). Avoid the nearby pub if you can, it’s been tastelessly remodeled.

So, I was standing there in front of Nick Drake’s headstone, just kind of staring at the inscription for a while. Staring and, you know, sort of waiting for something to happen. After I was all done staring and waiting, though, I decided I would go for a walk around the town before getting the train back to London. I walked up and down the streets for a little while, aimlessly. Then I came upon this break in the hedgerows and there was this sign that said “public path.” So I thought about it for a second and then hopped over this weird little stepladder contraption and out into a big open field. It was kind of muddy where the ladder had dropped me, but I looked out and there was all this lush, verdant farmland ahead. I trudged down through the first field and then over more weird stepladders into the adjoining ones. On my way through, I passed some little brooks and could see sheep grazing nearby. Later a dog even chased me, but I managed to escape just in time.

Finally, I sat down by one of the brooks and got in some more staring and waiting, this time listening to the soft babbling sound of the water running over the rocks. I thought about some stuff, probably, but that doesn’t matter so much right now. A lot of what stays with me, though, is just this feeling of being completely relaxed for a time, for five minutes or a half-hour, I don’t know.

Anyhow, when I listen to your music, I think about some of these things, like cloudless skies and the shady gaunt trees. I think I might have even listened to some of In Your Dreams on the train ride back. I usually skip “Kill the Turkey”. I’m not a vegetarian and it kind of unnerves me.

I like the new album, Moenie and Kitchi, a lot too. It sounds a bit more mature and a little more open. Your songs have this timeless quality, and that’s why they will always remind people of nature. Like “August Moon”, for instance, which is one of my personal favorites right now. Your voice sounds far away on it, like it’s coming off an old record player.

While it could just be that I’m a little hung up on your old sound, I mostly enjoy the tracks that have the sparsest arrangements. On the other hand, my least favorite Nick Drake album is Bryter Layter. Do you know it? It’s the second one, with all these drums and horns all over the place. Well, during that time Island (Records) was trying to sell him as another Cat Stevens or something. Ultimately, I think the results made him lose faith in pop music altogether. This is where the anger of Pink Moon comes from. Also, did you know he hated to perform live? It seems he could never win anyone over to his cause that way. Not like the way you can.

I hear that the recording of this new album was pretty speedy. First takes, etc. This makes a lot of sense to me. I love that “Stone Wall, Stone Fence” is a deeper and darker song than I remember on In Your Dreams. And though I’m not sure I like the new drums on “Oats We Sow” (too much rattle and not enough hum), I think “Harmless” is one of your most gripping songs ever. Have you ever listened to Emiliana Torrini? Well, your new record is better than hers, but don’t tell her I said so. Also, “Doubtful” is a great change of texture, deservedly occupying a larger space than many of your older songs.

To wrap things up, I’d just like to say congratulations on the record deal. If you let them put a song in a Target commercial or something, I won’t judge you for it, but promise you’ll keep the good stuff coming. Make the music you want. My advice, for what it’s worth, is to stay permanent -- and, to borrow a term, stay eventual. Your songs speak for themselves in a language that anyone can understand. And that, as I’m sure you know, is a truly enviable gift.

Best regards,

ST

7


Music


Books


Film


Television


Recent
Books

A Fresh Look at Free Will and Determinism in Terry Gilliam's '12 Monkeys'

Susanne Kord gets to the heart of the philosophical issues in Terry Gilliam's 1995 time-travel dystopia, 12 Monkeys.

Music

The Devonns' Debut Is a Love Letter to Chicago Soul

Chicago's the Devonns pay tribute the soul heritage of their city with enough personality to not sound just like a replica.

Music

Jaye Jayle's 'Prisyn' Is a Dark Ride Into Electric Night

Jaye Jayle salvage the best materials from Iggy Pop and David Bowie's Berlin-era on Prisyn to construct a powerful and impressive engine all their own.

Music

Kathleen Edwards Finds 'Total Freedom'

Kathleen Edwards is back making music after a five-year break, and it was worth the wait. The songs on Total Freedom are lyrically delightful and melodically charming.

Television

HBO's 'Lovecraft Country' Is Heady, Poetic, and Mangled

Laying the everyday experience of Black life in 1950s America against Cthulhuian nightmares, Misha Green and Jordan Peele's Lovecraft Country suggests intriguing parallels that are often lost in its narrative dead-ends.

Music

Jaga Jazzist's 'Pyramid' Is an Earthy, Complex, Jazz-Fusion Throwback

On their first album in five years, Norway's Jaga Jazzist create a smooth but intricate pastiche of styles with Pyramid.

Music

Finding the Light: An Interview with Kathy Sledge

With a timeless voice that's made her the "Queen of Club Quarantine", Grammy-nominated vocalist Kathy Sledge opens up her "Family Room" and delivers new grooves with Horse Meat Disco.

Books

'Bigger Than History: Why Archaeology Matters'

On everything from climate change to gender identity, archaeologists offer vital insight into contemporary issues.

Film

'Avengers: Endgame' Culminates 2010's Pop Culture Phenomenon

Avengers: Endgame features all the expected trappings of a superhero blockbuster alongside surprisingly rich character resolutions to become the most crowd-pleasing finalés to a long-running pop culture series ever made.

Music

Max Richter's 'VOICES' Is an Awe-Inspiring and Heartfelt Soundscape

Choral singing, piano, synths, and an "upside-down" orchestra complement crowd-sourced voices from across the globe on Max Richter's VOICES. It rewards deep listening, and acts as a global rebuke against bigotry, extremism and authoritarianism.

Music

DYLYN Dares to "Find Myself" by Facing Fears and Life's Dark Forces (premiere + interview)

Shifting gears from aspiring electropop princess to rock 'n' rule dream queen, Toronto's DYLYN is re-examining her life while searching for truth with a new song and a very scary-good music video.

Music

JOBS Make Bizarre and Exhilarating Noise with 'endless birthdays'

Brooklyn experimental quartet JOBS don't have a conventional musical bone in their body, resulting in a thrilling, typically off-kilter new album, endless birthdays.

Music

​Nnamdï' Creates a Lively Home for Himself in His Mind on 'BRAT'

Nnamdï's BRAT is a labyrinth detailing the insular journey of a young, eclectic DIY artist who takes on the weighty responsibility of reaching a point where he can do what he loves for a living.

Music

Monte Warden and the Dangerous Few Play It Cool​

Austin's Monte Warden and the Dangerous Few perform sophisticatedly unsophisticated jazz/Americana that's perfect for these times

Music

Eleanor Underhill Takes Us to the 'Land of the Living' (album stream)

Eleanor Underhill's Land of the Living is a diverse album drawing on folk, pop, R&B, and Americana. It's an emotionally powerful collection that inspires repeated listens.

Music

How Hawkwind's First Voyage Helped Spearhead Space Rock 50 Years Ago

Hawkwind's 1970 debut opened the door to rock's collective sonic possibilities, something that connected them tenuously to punk, dance, metal, and noise.

Books

Graphic Novel 'Cuisine Chinoise' Is a Feast for the Eyes and the Mind

Lush art and dark, cryptic fables permeate Zao Dao's stunning graphic novel, Cuisine Chinoise.

Music

Alanis Morissette's 'Such Pretty Forks in the Road' Is a Quest for Validation

Alanis Morissette's Such Pretty Forks in the Road is an exposition of dolorous truths, revelatory in its unmasking of imperfection.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.