My favorite team up of 2012 was Hip Hatchet with an orchestra. The luxurious Joy and Better Days was one of the best driving records of the year and a resplendent concoction which highlighted Philipe Bronchtein's songwriting by adding more instruments, more layers, and capitalizing on all the possibilities we knew were there after hearing 2011's Men Who Share My Name. Hip Hatchet's latest release is a split EP with Alameda which you can pick up on Bandcamp. "Mountain Cadence," featured here leads a stellar 4 song collection from both Hip Hatchet and Alameda (the name of my favorite Elliott Smith song) and features a kind of mid point between Men Who Share My Name and Joy and Better Days as Bronchtein begins with a whisper and the bittersweet lyric "As green as new grass / as young as new love / blooming slowly / in the coming months." before the instruments build to an emotive pitch, underscoring the gentle desire. We're also treated to one of Philipe's beautiful turns of phrases, or as Zach refers to them, a "Hank lyric": "Kiss a girl in costume / because she likes the way you talk / Tell her that she looks so good / even though it's dark."