Hello friends, I hope that the new year has found you all well and managing to keep warm if you have been affected by the polar vortex. I apologize for my extended absence. I have been rather busy with my own musical endeavors and certain things have been neglected. This blog being one of those things. However, I promise to get back into the swing of things and get new, local, undiscovered talent your way. That being said let’s get to it……….
Back in December 2012 I introduced you to Daniel Hales and the frost heaves from Massachusetts. Well, they have been busy working on a new release and it is here that we pick up their story. They ran a successful crowd funding campaign to help bring their latest project to fruition.
This project was to take the poetry of Lewis Carroll and set it to music. This is a fitting marriage of the arts as Lewis Carroll was known for his word play, fantasy and literary nonsense long before our own beloved Dr. Suess. Daniel Hales and the frost heaves are musically eclectic with smart lyricism so it works. Their latest release “Contrariwise” consists of the poems of Lewis Carroll’s from” Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” as well as “Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There”. The title song combines both verse from Carroll with the chorus by Daniel Hales and “(Push them into the) Wishing Well” is drawn strictly from Hales himself. I guess you could say it hails from Hales.
The adventure begins with “Jabberwocky” and continues on from there telling a story along the way. The music is seamlessly fused into the writings of Carroll and it all makes sense. Well, as much sense as a Lewis Carroll poem can. The tone of the poem sets the tone for the music going from excited (Jabberwocky) gentle (A Secret Kept) firm (Speak Roughly) and so on.
One of my favorites in “Contrariwise” is the title song itself. The chorus reflects upon doing different tasks “peek past the scenery”, “pet the Cheshire Cat” but if you are to do any of these things do it “contrary, contrariwise”. The poems set to music keep you as the listener engaged. Daniel Hales and the frost heaves know when to turn it up a little and when to lull you further into the story. “(Push them into the) Wishing Well” provides a nice little reprieve from the absurdity of Carroll’s words but let’s not get carried away, we are on a journey here and the lyrics while modern still maintain some absurdity to them. Because the whole concept is brilliant “it’s time to surprise them, push them in and baptize them, it’s time to surprise them, push them into the wishing well”.
The journey begins to wrap up with “Queen Alice” and ends with “But a Dream”. The last song is ethereal and you feel as if you may be waking up from an unsuspecting nap under the summer sky. You feel groggy, confused, and refreshed all at the same time. You stretch and contemplate your next journey. I hope that some of you out there will be willing to take this particular journey as it is worthwhile.
To buy the album or find out more about Daniel hales and the frost heaves check out their website
There is a little Alice in Wonderland visual surprise if you hurry there. Just beware of the Jabberwock.
Find some videos of them on you tube as well.
The frost heaves are: James Lowe: bass , Ivan Ussach: drums & percussion and Anna Wetherby: viola