The Hanging Stars – ‘Hollow Heart’ (2022)
With the band reaching into the pockets of so many you’ve come to know and love over the years, it’s no wonder they’ve been able to fashion and reinvent the musical wheel, laying in hints of Gram Parsons and his stint with the Flying Burrito Brothers, and not surprisingly from the Grateful Dead’s most productive years and ambient sounds, along with David Gilmour’s (Pink Floyd) slide and steel guitar manifestations, and unexpectedly Big Star; neatly and romantically allowing all they’ve come to admire to find a comfortable spot in your listening space to play out with a sound that’s identifiably all their own.
In it’s way, ‘Hollow Heart’ could have been very large and expansive, yet Hanging Stars have manage to contain that sound within a reasonable space, nearly confined, resounding with a rich personal feel and atmosphere that belays an intoxicating flavor if you’re one of those so inclined to let your head wander among the clouds on a perfect warm afternoon. Had the band been from America, and they sound very much as though they could, this outing would ride the genre of cosmic prairie Americana, filled with cascading swirling guitars and southwestern harmonies, a sort of slow motion emancipated sound that’s simply infectious as it eases its way into your being.
No two ways about it, the music’s authentic, low-keyed psych pop coming at you in soft sheets of sound that are uncomplicated, direct, melodic, verging on power-pop, yet never really stepping through that door … just a joyful boundless restrained baroque dance of self-confidence and immediacy.
*** The Fun Facts: As to the album’s title, hollow heart is an abnormal condition of potato tubers which is usually the result of rapid and uneven growth, in which the central tissue ruptures and leaves a cavity. Then again, to be hollow-hearted is to be insincere, deceitful, unsound and untrue, or more precisely, having a decayed spot within; which this album is anything but.
Available on black vinyl and as a very limited yellow vinyl edition. For those of you who are collectors, nearly half of the yellow hyper-stickers were affixed directly to the actual jacket (as mine was) before they were moved to the shrink-wrap. Not sure if this means collectors will be searching for those editions or not.
The Hanging Stars – Hollow Heart (Loose 2022)
The Hanging Stars – ‘A New Kind of Sky’ (2020)
The Hanging Stars – ‘Golden Vanity’ / ‘Floodbound’ (2015)