Today sees the release of Carl Hauck’s new 9 track album “Windjammer”. The album is a study in delicate finger picked singer songwriter selections that carry some of the best melodies of 2010.
Hauck is no stranger to the pages of Slowcoustic (see here, here & here) so I might be a bit biased on this Illinois’ talent. The bias is earned, so I do not stray from that fact that I enjoy a Hauck tune. Something about being able to bring a pitch perfect selection of lyrics to stunning acoustic arrangements…you know, that’s all.
The title track is a perfect example, it is beat steady, has a build that joins in additional layers (fantastic violin & strings in this one) and it defines what a Carl Hauck track might be. This is the stuff that made Sufjan Stevens everyone’s favourite indie talent, listen to the song and find elements of Stevens’ work intertwined with Hauck – there’s beauty in ‘dem songs. Listen:
Probably my favourite track on the album is the song “Martial Reisling”. It starts with just Hauck singing over acoustics and does the build to a melodic chorus with the best of them. Other than just being catchy, the lyrics alone show the strength in this album, example:
“My fingertips are tapping on a hefty stack of papers sitting
Stamped and sorted carefully, all ready to be sent
Sonnets, prose, and charming odes to ennui-laden scribbles so
Affected by the rain or lack thereof that fell today”
“Blank checks made out to certainty, the memos bursting at the seams
With issues better left unspoken of and never seen”
Quite an ominous few lines, but they fit and show the beauty of an album worth of stories/situations/laments/memories all set to music. [Side Note: the lyrics for the album can be found on his Bandcamp page and I suggest a little "light" reading while listening.] Overall in this particular song, I think the chorus is what gets me – some may say it’s hokey, but when you earnestly sing the naked-as-I-am line “But I have dreams too” – it just hits the spot for me. Listen:
Bonus out-take from the album (from carlhauck.com): “Sinking Ships”
So if you pick up one “folk” album today, make it Carl Hauck’s Windjammer. If you are in Chicago, you can hit the CD Release show at Martyr’s (Facebook event info)