Review of Hook & Anchor’s album 'Hook & Anchor'

By Mila Whiteley,
Author Rating: 
3.0 Stars - It's Good

Hook & Anchor is the debut album of Kati Claborn, Gabrielle Macrae, Ryan Dobrowski, Erik Clampitt and Luke Ydstie, and is clearly a sum of its parts. Formed through happy chance, the Americana group began collaborating when Claborn, who toured with The Blind Pilots, realized she had a variety of songs to sing and no one to sing them with. She joined up with Blind Pilot bandmates Dobrowski and Ydstie along with experienced musicians Macrae and Clampitt to produce an album that gives each artist a voice while still forming a beautiful harmony.

On their website, Hook & Anchor states that while the album began with songs of Claborn’s, it, “quickly became a vessel for other member's back-pocket tunes,” creating an album that has country, indie, rock and folk influences. An album with so many points of view could very easily be discordant. However, the songs that had been put on the backburner before prove their worth, providing depth and personality to an album that could have been one note.

The album ranges in tone, with faster songs like, “Tomorrow” and “Wild Winds” emphasizing and balancing the quieter poignancy of melodies like, “Hammer” and “The Fine Old Times.” While certain songs are clearly heavily influenced by the country or folk genre there is almost always a hint, expressed through violin or a guitar riff, hinting at the broader mesh of genres that makes up both the album and the band itself.

Although it is difficult to narrow my favorite song down to one, if one has to be chosen, it would probably be the song “No, It’s Not.” The song manages to express perfectly the struggle to reassure yourself that everything will be fine, in circumstances that obviously say differently. Though the refrain, “It’s gonna be alright,” repeats throughout the song, the ominous instrumentals and constant rhythm brings a dose of reality into the song, and show just how well the members of Hook & Anchor work together.

Here is Hook & Anchor’s song “Concerning Spectral Pinching” from their debut album:

Hook & Anchor - "Concerning Spectral Pinching" by Hook and Anchor on YouTube

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