Track Of The Day: Hip Hatchet - "Sing Me A Reprise"


Philippe Bronchtein, aka Hip Hatchet, is one of the great singer/songwriters of our time.  When we stumbled upon his debut LP, Men Who Share My Name, back in 2010, his approach to folk music was on the level of past greats like Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen, and Townes Van Zandt.  Like those listed, Hip Hatchet does so much with so little...a simple guitar and vocal accompaniment can become a guidebook to life and all its hardships.  From the very first listen it became apparent that the magic of Hip Hatchet comes from his personality dripped voice and lyrics that paint unique vivid picture after another.   

Now we have the first offering from Hip Hatchet's follow up LP, Joy And Better Days.  "Sing Me A Reprise" is one of the best "straight folk" songs I've heard in years.  It's a slow boiler that examines displacement, a road trip, and the contemplation that accompanies being stuck in a small space with nothing else to do but think.  One of the best aspects of Men Who Share My Name was the shear mass of brilliant take away lines.  "Sing Me A Reprise" is no different, with powerful line after another like: 

what's unknown is beautiful 
when what we live ain't new 
but the warmth of other women 
just ain't as warm as you 


and you're waiting for the fall 
and nothing that you do will help at all 
the cold will settle in 
both your hands will crack and your eyes will sting.


and I have been feeling distant 
from the friends i've learned to love 
i crave the comfort of transition 
and a car covered in rust 

After hearing "Sing Me A Reprise" I'm confident in confirming that Joy And Better Days is still my most anticipated release of 2012.  We live in a time where "simulated folk" gets all the spotlight with artists like Bon Iver who disconnects the fundamental principals of folk that makes the genre so near and dear to me as a listener.  True folk artists are falling away slowly and Hip Hatchet is a great hope for the genre.  Talent like Hip Hatchet is very rare and I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure art this precious and important isn't ignored.

Joy And Better Days / April 10th / Gravitation Records