Sunday, February 26, 2017

Ep 43 - Song 3: "Better Day" by HipKnosis

"Featuring the acutely personal but smooth, distinctive lead vocals of songstress Heather Kelly, HipKnosis is a versatile recording act, powered by the accomplished songwriting of pianist and violinist Kelly, bassist Kirk Kaufman and multi-keyboardist Dave Hearn. Melvin James fills the guitar slot with inventive use of electric and acoustic guitars, and Jon Passow provides a solid foundation for the band on drums and percussion...

"HipKnosis started life as H&K, a “medieval pop” duo in 2006, featuring Kaufman on bass guitar, kick drum and vocals, with Kelly on vocals, piano, violin, percussion and cymbals. They were sometimes joined by guitarist Eric Hovey, and later by Melvin James. Hearn began writing songs for the act in 2010, and joined HipKnosis in the studio by the next year. Jon Passow completed the band in 2012."
- from their home page

"Let me get it out of the way now — this is one of the best pop albums I’ve heard all year. The first and most obvious driving force behind the band is vocalist Heather Kelly and that arresting, enchanting voice. But there’s also the work of bassist Kirk Kaufman. He not only anchors the rhythm section throughout the album, but Kaufman’s also the owner and engineer of Junior’s Motel, an outfit that has played host to everyone from Slipknot to Brian Wilson. These two combine their efforts with Melvin James and Dave Hearn to create an album that’s catchy and extremely listenable. “Darkest Dreams” has a throwback feel throughout that alludes to everything from Roxette-style ’80s pop to Jefferson Airplane psychedelia. Top-notch guitar work, tight songwriting and impeccable production, combined with Kelly’s attention-demanding vocals come together to create an album that is unabashedly pop, but pop of the very best variety."
- from a Chad Taylor review in Cityview

Heather Kelly - vocals, piano, violin
Dave Hearn - keyboards
Kirk Kaufman - bass
Melvin James - guitars
Jon Passow - drums




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