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Gregory And The Hawk – Leche

Simi Bhullar


This album is the first that I’ve heard of Gregory and The Hawk. Though the band name sounds like it should have more than one member or at least a man in the group, the innocent sounds of Leche stem solely from Massachusetts born, Meredith Godreau. Following her debut album with FatCat records Moenie and Kitchi in October 2008, fans of Gregory and The Hawk have had to wait a long time to see what was to come next.

The key difference between this album and previous ones is the injection of culture that travelling has brought to the music. Used in tracks such as Landscapes and Leaves is a beautiful sounding Baroque instrument. It brings life to the catchy vocals in Landscapes as it creates a call and response with the movement of the melody. The rhythm and the feel of the whole song change several times but rather than creating a disjointed, irregular track the complete composition creates a song that breaks boundaries between genres. Leaves on the other hand includes a trip hop beat that accompanies the chorus on occasions, moving this album away from the pop sounds that are more obvious on some tracks and towards to the quirky sound of the likes of CoCoRosie.

The opening track For the Best sums up this album for me. The gentleness of the vocals juxtaposes the powerful emotion behind the words, which are almost nonchalant as unfortunately I find it quite hard to figure out a lot of what is being sung. Those words that I can make out lack lyrical finesse and depth, however, this can be overlooked as the musical sequences and the instruments used bring the songs to life. Frebeight is a good example of this as the vocals are kept to a minimum, acting only as a supplement to a beautifully sculpted instrumental piece. It’s simply fragile and delicately pure.

I find my views on this album mixed and constantly changing: where it is obvious that Meredith Godreau has paid dues to her influences gained from travelling she has created more interesting tracks. Other tracks that haven’t been affected by this, such as Olly Olly Oxen Free, remind me of many songs I could hear on romantic comedy films. This isn’t to say that they don’t work, but this new found love of the baroque string instrument has led her music creativity down paths with no barriers and no end.

In particular, listen to the peacefully beautiful songs Geysir Nationale and Dream Machine for the full effect of Leche or see Gregory and The Hawk play in Brighton, Cardiff and Manchester throughout November.


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