Hook & Anchor from Astoria in the USA is the folk-rock quintet of Kati Claborn (Vocals / Guitar / Banjo / Ukulele), Gabrielle Macrae (Vocals / Violin), Ryan Dobrowski (Drums), Erik Clampitt (Vocals / Guitar / Pedal Steel) and Luke Ydstie (Bass / Vocals).
Hook & Anchor is only about a year old as a band, but the players have lengthy experience as performing musicians as this is immediately evident on hitting play. Taking US country and folk whilst wrapping it up inside rock tempos gives Hook & Anchor a surprisingly upbeat sound. The contributions of the individuals are weaved into each other, giving the resulting tracks an enticing depth of exploration for the listener.
The vocal harmonies, rather then cloying sugar-sweetness are the highlight of the sounds as the instruments lay down plenty to keep the ear twitching. Whilst never slowing to funeral pace, Hook & Anchor is able to deliver slower ballads as effectively as their up-tempo toe tappers.
Whilst self-evidently producing music with a target audience in mind, there is enough grit about the sounds to entice audiences who would in the normal course of events run for the hills at the very mention of the genre.
In my view Hook & Anchor is well worth spending some time to enjoy, not least because they are talented creators. Although, like me, you may find a continual play of their début eponymous LP, which came out this month, more than enough of a good thing, that doesn’t mean to say that there are not some highlights worth adding to the ‘party-light’ playlist alongside digging into the full release from time to time.
Hook & Anchor – Hook & Anchor is available on iTunes*
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