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Hrsta, "Ghosts Will Come and Kiss Our Eyes"

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cover image The third album from Michael Moya's wonderful group picks up where the last one left off. The nine hymnal songs here are sung from the soul, each one heavy with emotional weight. Moya and company manage to merge melancholy with hope and joy. The end result is an evocative and captivating journey.

 

Constellation

Moya's ghostly mastery of the guitar here is as beautiful as ever. The tremulous notes howl in a melancholy dirge, his playing cutting through the music like a razor. The warbling, singing-saw guitar that has made previous Hrsta and the early Godspeed releases so evocative is still present. On "Entre la Mer et l'Eau Douce" it almost brings a tear to my eyes, Moya's guitar is hauntingly beautiful. However, his guitar does not play a hugely prominent role on Ghosts Will Come and Kiss Our Eyes. Much time and space is instead given to Hammond organ and harmonium. These instruments backed with soft and sympathetic percussion give rise to a lush sound to the album. "Hechicero del Bosque" exemplifies this rich sound, the band filling up the song but not allowing it to become cluttered.

The album finishes on an unlikely cover: The Bee Gees' "Holiday." What could have very easily been a mawkish interpretation of a housewife's fave is instead quite a beautiful, if slightly sinister, rendition. Moya's voice is comfortable within the confines of the music and the song sounds like it belongs to Hrsta more than the Bee Gees. Indeed, "The Orchard," from earlier in the album has a very similar vibe to "Holiday," both sounding like they were cut from the same cloth.

I would be hard pressed to pick a favourite out of the three Hrsta releases but Ghosts Will Come and Kiss Our Eyes definitely stands proud with the other two. It continues the trend of gorgeous sleeves; the bold but delicate colors of the flower on the cover reflect the organic, lovely music on the CD. Hrsta may be often lumped in under the "just another Godspeed spin off" umbrella but that does an injustice to their music. This album shows that although some musical elements are shared, Hrsta are a very different animal deserving their own respect and identity.

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