in which i chat with ari hest + album review

so, i recently shared two new songs off of ari hest’s new album sunset over hope street. ari was kind enough to answer some questions about his recent projects:

have you met heather: a few years back, you completed the 52 project, which encompassed writing and recording 52 songs in 52 weeks. what was that experience like for you as an artist?

ari hest: The experience was everything I thought it would be – rewarding, grueling, ultimately worth doing. Lost a few hairs. But I shouldn’t complain.

hymh: sunset over hope street is your first full-length album in four years. what is the inspiration behind it?

ari: Sunset Over Hope Street is an album about transition. There are a variety of themes within that – changing environments, both personal and not. I guess I started to question more why I’m here

hymh: was your approach to this album different from previous work? did you go in with a certain mindset on what you wanted to write?

ari: My approach was different only in handing the production over to Alex Wong and letting him do his thing. I wanted a new perspective on these songs and one that was challenging for me to adhere to. I love the way it turned out.

thanks, ari!

sunset over hope street is, for the most part, a very easy going album. ari’s got the sort of deep, smooth voice that easily lulls his listeners into his stories. some highlights:

* one track mind – quiet and contemplative, it’s got this interesting series of little beeps in the background that center the song. my baby’s got a one track mind/she never can hold out/for just a little more time/i guess she ain’t the steady kind/always looking to the next thing/always trying to cut the line

* if i knew you’d say yes – trippy drums find a good fit with ari’s smooth vocals. in a hotel/somewhere they’re speaking a language/i hardly get that phone call/it’s gonna mean everything/’cause without it/this is only a game

* give it time – simple and heartfelt, the chimes in this add a whimsical, if not wistful, element. love this one. if it wasn’t for closing the window/you wouldn’t have heard the call/and without so much as a hello/you wouldn’t know me at all

* swan song – there’s a splash of a spanish flavor in this mellow song. raging fires/sweep the landscape/devouring all that will lie their path/the fire consumes/bares the sunset/sets the stage/for a cold aftermath

* how will i know – it’s like having a cup of tea next to an open window on the perfect seventy-two degrees day. smooth and relaxing, it’s such a sweet love song. check out the video below:

buy sunset over hope street HERE.

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