Sunday, February 1, 2015

Track of the Week: The Roches "Hammond Song"

Last week I was re-immersing myself in late 70s-early 80s Bowie, and got to wondering about other artists that the great guitarist Robert Fripp had collaborated with.  With the wonderful power of the interwebs at my fingertips, I found out he had produced the Roches first album, and played guitar on "Hammond Song."  I listened to it, and was immediately blown away.  I'd seen that first Roches record in stores a few time, and a vague sense that it was good, but had never listened to it.  I feel embarrassed about it now, since I have been listening to it constantly for a week.

In case you didn't know, the group are three sisters from New Jersey with folk-inflected songs full of beautiful harmonies.  There's something about close harmonies sung by brothers or sisters that really gets to me.  The genetic closeness of the voices allows them to do some spooky things that you just can't get out of other groups.

The song starts with beautiful simplicity, light, atmospheric organ and a sweetly strummed acoustic guitar starts things off, and then the gorgeous harmonies come in.  At various times Fripp brings in his guitar, with his signature "Frippertronic" effects giving it a ghostly presence.  The song glows so much I swear it warms me up like a blanket, and has been a welcome addition to my rotation this winter, when I need all the warmth I can get.

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