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For nearly a year, hd hausmann has teased indie music listeners. It started with the release of a demo of “An Island Without”, a stunning dream-folk song that was pleasant on the ears. It led to questions about who is hd hausmann – or is it who are hd hausmann? Were they the project of a single individual who gathered his close friends to form a band or collective? For months, hd hausmann remained a mystery until a recent review of wring the moisture from the surf, hd hausmann’s debut album, was shared by Uncut.
hd hausmann is both the project of an individual – Liam Palmer – and a collective of like-minded individuals. Palmer and three of his mates started off as another band, Grass House, before expanding the group to create hd hausmann, which comprises of eleven musicians based in and around London. The large ensemble has enabled Palmer and friends to create wring the moisture from the surf, an album that is more expansive and cinematic than anything you will hear this year. It is an escapade of enchantment, filled with stunning and haunting melodies, hallowing harmonies, and mystical storylines.
“To The Loveliest Ocean” epitomizes the collective’s mesmerizing dream-folk sound, where Palmer’s baritone and storytelling channels the late great Johnny Cash. “Old Satellites” is a quiet, majestic track that slowly and subtly rises instrumentally all the while Palmer’s voice calls out in the foreground before giving way to a whisper in the background.
“An Island Without” and “As The World Lays Downs” echo of Phosphorescent‘s intimate yet cathartic folk sound while the title track takes on a slightly heavier, distorted sound. It’s the one head-nodder on the album. “In Our Wake” is the one tune that comes closest to the familiar folk approach of the southern US. “I Am Here and I Am In Cold Water” closes the album with a strikingly beautiful, hymn-like ballad. The slight and understated melody perfectly complements the spiritual undertones of the song, in particular as Palmer repeats “I will overcome”. It is a message perfect for the times we live in, and one reminding us of our vulnerability and the precious thing that is life. Yet through the mist of uncertainty, there is always hope.
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