About: Ari Hest
On his upcoming June 8th release 'Shouts and Whispers',
singer-songwriter Ari Hest creates a non-typical collection of tracks that
ultimately form a cohesive narrative. With songs of sadness and resignation giving
way to lucidity and catharsis, Hest's introspection and intelligence are on
display, creating moments of magic within his poetic, spare lyrics and backing
them up with his ear for haunting melodies.
Hest conceived half the album as an acoustic set, while the
other half took shape via keyboards, as he explains below. 'Shouts and
Whispers' begins with the swirling, hypnotic 'Harvest', soon followed by a
centerpiece track, the stunning, understated 'Into the Empty White'. 'How We'll
Always Be' is perhaps a declaration of giving up the fight, and the melancholy
'No One Can Stay' has an elegant darkness. There's a glimmer of hope within
'Bona Fide', and finally a cathartic yowl as 'After The Thunder' builds to its
Hest comments on the process of making the album:
"At first I wanted to write and record some songs where
I put the guitar down and focused on keyboards…I've always been into music from
Tears For Fears, Peter Gabriel, and Bruce Hornsby, and was excited to
experiment in that direction. So I asked my buddy Carl Barc if I could invade
his studio for a while to experiment with some ideas on his Juno and CP70
keyboards. I loved creating in a way I hadn't - using those instruments as the
backbone of tracks and leaving guitar largely out of it."
"In the middle of working on those songs I began
playing solo shows supporting Judy Collins around the U.S. and Europe. Her show
and her audience beg for a more acoustically minded set, so I'd go on stage
with just a guitar and occasionally play songs that were fresh out of the oven.
I enjoyed being able to take a break mentally from what I was doing with Carl.
I was able to focus on how I could arrange these other new songs
Eventually Hest found the time to record a few of them with
the help of producer Matt Pendergast at Q Division Studios in Boston, MA. Then
he listened to both projects. "After hearing the two finished batches of
songs I saw two distinct themes, not only in a musical sense but also
lyrically. The vibe of the keyboard driven tracks is intense. I wrote a lot
about the uncertainty of what I do for a living. On the contrary, the acoustic
songs come from a place of lucidity. I started thinking it'd be cool to combine
the two somehow."
The result is an album that isn't an album in the
traditional sense, but it manages to flow like a complete thought.
"I've always been the introspective type. I guess as a
singer-songwriter you're gonna have some of that anyway in your makeup. My
previous records were inward most of the time, but 'Shouts and Whispers' has
another distinct angle, one of understanding the world I live in and embracing
how I fit into it a bit easier than I used to."
Hest has released seven albums, three EPs, and
"52" in 2008, an innovative project whereby he wrote, recorded and
released a new song every Monday for a full year. In addition, Hest is half of
the folk pop duo The Open Sea, along with longtime friend Rosi Golan.
His music has been featured on numerous television shows
including Private Practice, Army Wives, and One Tree Hill. Recently, Ari's song
"The Landlord" appeared in an episode of NPR's "All Things
Considered". He's also scored a film called 'Dreamriders,' which won
several independent film awards. And throughout his career, he has toured
worldwide to support his records, most recently in Germany as well as several
European countries, and built the kind of loyal fan base any musician would
While Shouts and Whispers is an excellent indication of what
Hest is capable of, his live show may leave even more of an impression.
Watching him play, one can't help but be thrust into his world, hanging on
every word like a child listening to a ghost story.
Post a Comment