Hip Hatchet | Coward’s Luck EP
Snag a free EP by this up-and-coming singer-songwriter.
2012 is looking to be a very good year for Portland-based singer-songwriter Philippe Bronchtein, who has released a full-length and two EPs under the guise of Hip Hatchet. He’s got an album in the works, due to be released on Gravitation Records (who also re-released his LP Men Who Share My Name late last year), a tiny label best known for its two next-most-recent releases, The Tallest Man On Earth’s The Wild Hunt LP and Sometimes the Blues is Just a Passing Bird EP.
Making a home on Gravitation will probably result in a lot of tiresome Tallest Man On Earth comparisons, but let me indulge just one: Tallest Man has succeeded as a somewhat traditionally-minded singer-songwriter in a field where it’s increasingly difficult to do so, and based on his new EP Coward’s Luck, Bronchtein shows strong signs of being able to achieve the same.
Men Who Share My Name was an elegantly beautiful release, but the pared-down Coward’s Luck — recorded in a single day with just the accompaniment of guitarist Alex Lewis — sees Bronchtein’s songwriting injected with a newfound sense of dexterity, energy, and passion. In particular, his distinctive husky-smooth baritone really shines. This is true at both ends of his considerable range; the sprightly “Sleep Song” dwells in the higher register, while “Small Hands,” an absolutely stunning track from Men Who Share My Name, contains a deep-voiced and, dare I say it, soulful vocal performance.
Like “Sleep Song,” the EP’s title track is short and sweet, but the real standout here is closing track “Just Like an Old Friend,” which, on top of having a particularly bracing vocal performance, is one of the strongest and most taut songs he’s yet released, both lyrically and musically. Let’s hope it’s a signal of what we’ll be hearing when his upcoming album rolls around.
Stream “Just Like an Old Friend” below, swing over to Hip Hatchet’s Bandcamp to pick up the full Coward’s Luck EP — for free! — and make sure to keep your eyes peeled for a full length coming our way mid-2012.
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