Grace Hearn & Michael Savage

Grace Hearn & Michael Savage

Messy Blue Ending

h2m

Having recorded three albums under the Hand To Mouth moniker, this is Grace Hearn and Michael Savage’s first album released under their own names, perhaps to coincide with a newfound sense of intimacy and brutally dark honesty. Musically, this album really doesn’t represent all that much of a departure from their former efforts, but there’s an urgency and presence to this album that haven’t been as evident until now.

Moving between the angst-ridden folk pop of Juliana Hatfield and Cowboy Junkies’ doomsday indie folk, the most obvious reference point may still be Kristin Hersh. Hearn & Savage, then, have an expansive outlook, but they manage to pull things together and put together a coherent whole.

Not all of this is equally interesting — the title track’s sweet folk pop isn’t too brave, the lazy jazz tripping of “Frank” is a tad too obvious, and “Innocents” is far too sanctimonious. That said, there are more than enough good songs on here to make up for those few blunders: “Crush” offers unsettling indie folk, while “Snow on the Ground” is a moody, chilling track. “Hope And Despair” shimmers brightly, and “What I Can Do Low (I Can Do High)” mixes film noir and sweeping dream-folk with remarkable results.

The main features of the album, though, are the names on the album cover: Grace Hearn’s amazing voice should win all but the most hardened cynic over, while Michael Savage’s guitar playing is exciting and brave, taking in everything from bluegrass picking to electric white noise. Messy Blue Ending isn’t a faultless album by any stretch of the imagination, but it still has more to offer than most low-key folk pop releases you’re likely to encounter this year, and it’s definitely worthy of your attention.

Grace Hearn & Michael Savage: http://www.graceandsavage.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World
    Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

    There’s more than black music influencing the evolution of Rock and Roll. Native American rhymes and ideas are every bit as significant, once you know to look for them.

  • Keith Morris
    Keith Morris

    Ink 19 slings a few questions to the punk rock pioneer Keith Morris on Trump, Calexit and looking back.

  • Soul Understated
    Soul Understated

    Soul Understated was a swizzle stick of jazz, funk, pop with a dash of Radiohead in the delightful DC cocktail.

  • Anca Miruna Lǎzǎrescu
    Anca Miruna Lǎzǎrescu

    That Trip We Took With Dad is the debut feature by acclaimed Romanian short film director Anca Miruna Lǎzǎrescu. Generoso Fierro sat down with Lǎzǎrescu during SEEFest to discuss the comedy and drama within the adaptation of her deeply personal family story for the screen.

  • Aware
    Aware

    The Book Of Wind (Glacial Movements). Review by Carl F Gauze.

  • BANG: The Bert Berns Story
    BANG: The Bert Berns Story

    The music biz collides with the mob in this documentary chronicling the fast and dangerous life of legendary ’60s songwriter, producer, record mogul, Bert Berns.

  • The Suicide Commandos
    The Suicide Commandos

    Time Bomb (Twin/Tone). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Tricot
    Tricot

    3 (Topshelf Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Bush
    Bush

    One of the most successful rock bands of the ’90s attracted thousands of fans to its recent Orlando concert. Christopher Long was there.

  • New Found Glory
    New Found Glory

    New Found Glory celebrate 20 years of Pop Punk with a string of sold-out intimate dates at The Social. Jen Cray was there for night two.

From the Archives