Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Guitarist Daniel Hewson lives in easy-going Kerikeri at the top of New Zealand's North island -- which perhaps accounts for a couple of impressions after hearing this: it's because of his location that he isn't better known (he's off the radar and keeps to himself as it were), and for the cool vibe that this collection gives off. It's like summertime with the occasional bossa beat.
But while that might suggest some kind of easy listening experience -- although this is certainly easy to listen to, it's been the soundtrack to my recent lazy days -- there is a keen and cool intelligence at work on these 10 tracks where Hewson plays every instrument and does (nearly all) of the few vocal parts.
Hewson is a consumate guitar player who discreetly refers to Latin styles, LA-lite jazz, fluid fusion, astute trip-hop grooves (the especially seductive People Are People where his keyboard skills also take centre-stage), chill out grooves (the appropriately titled Chill, Feet Up with its Barry White-like murmur vocals) . . .
And forgive me if I note this: he can also pull out those sublime, sustained tones which David Gilmour brings to Pink Floyd . . . but never, never overplays it. Just part of the sonic mix he has at his fingertips, literally.
Here are what sound like backward-guitar parts seamlessly woven into shuffle grooves and techno-lounge . . . and some very cool soul inflections (What You Believe In featuring Makareta Umbers on gorgeous vocals).
Incidentally -- and it is entirely incidental -- Daniel is the son of the late Paul Hewson of Dragon, but has for a very long time been his own man. Here is ample evidence of that.
In fact, further evidence because his debut album Keep on Moving appeared at Elsewhere about 18 months ago but had to be taken down because of some unfortunate messiness with song attribution or some such.
Not his fault I understand -- which makes it even more of a pleasure to draw your attention to this one . . . which is available from here.
Like that? Then try this.