Hammock Talk About their ShoegazeEpic Departure Songs in Echoes Interview
Download the Hammock interview on iTunes.
Hammock doesn’t sound like your typical band coming out of Nashville. There isn’t the sound of country twang. Instead, Marc Byrd and Andrew Thompson mix twin guitars awash in distortion and reverb spread out over landscapes that can shift with the subtlety of a desert or open up like a mountain top panorama. They’ve just released a double CD called Departure Songs. It was an Echoes CD of the Month in December, #2 on the Listener Poll and #1 on 25 Essential Echoes CDs for 2012. It’s an album that takes on weighty themes, including death and suicide. But there’s also light at the end.
Looking at the cover of Hammock’s new CD with its ghostly angelic figure on a dark shrouded landscape, listening to the deep, layered music and the blurred and muffled lyrics of loss, you might wonder if you’re supposed to be depressed when you hear Departure Songs.
“That’s up to you,” laughs Marc Byrd, one of the two composers and guitarists in Hammock. “It’s definitely a big record and the themes are big too. It’s not just a big sound. I think a lot of it was you know, our house, mine and my wife’s house was flooded in 2010 and we made shortly after that an EP called Longest Year. And that was just dealing with that year because my stepfather died suddenly that year, a friend of ours who did some orchestration died right before that. And then shortly after that our house was flooded. So it’s definitely got that theme running through it, but I also think that it has a, a redemptive quality to in a sense that it’s our way of dealing with the darkness is creating some beauty out of it.
That’s a pretty big assignment to fill, but Hammock does it on their double CD, Departure Songs. Hammock has been making deep, ambient guitar orchestrations since their debut album, Kenotic, 13 years ago.
Both Marc Byrd and Andrew Thompson emerged out of the Christian music scene and a band called Common Children. Even then, they sounded more like My Bloody Valentine and The Cure than Christian bands like Reliant K and Jars of Clay. As Hammock, they’ve explored pure ambient spaces free of overt rhythms and melodies. But they’ve also recorded anthemically driven themes that that surge in glorious crescendos of reverb and rhythm. On Departure Songs, it all comes together in an album that ups the rhythm and aggression.
“We kept getting these comments about how Hammock is amazing, I’m going to sleep to Hammock tonight, I’m going to study to Hammock tonight,’ laments Byrd. “We wanted to make a record that some tracks you just you know, if you were sleeping it would wake you up.
You can hear Hammock’s complete interview in the Echoes Podcast.
~© 2012 John Diliberto ((( echoes )))
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