Title - 'Hildegard'
Artist - Hildegard
The overview of Hildegard is that it is a venturous collaboration between two of the leading voices on the New Orleans progressive music scene: vocalist Sasha Masakowski and guitarist Cliff Hines. Together the two have created genre-defying original music that seamlessly fuses progressive-rock and art-pop with contemporary jazz.
But Hildegard are much, much more than that, and just listing to this self-titled debut album will have you knowing, and importantly understanding that for yourselves.
This month, Hildegard (which also features: John Maestas on guitar, Max Moran on bass, and G Maxwell Zemanovic on drums), release this incredibly fresh, dynamic, original album upon the world. Indeed, the 10 tracks that you will hear, will come to love, will come to crave, will, without a shadow of a doubt, have you hitting "replay" on the CD player on a continual basis.
In truth, as much as it is truly Masakowski's angelic, heavenly, ethereal vocals that give this release the burst that enables it to enter into your minds, it would be nothing without the sonic working of Hines (and the three other aforementioned guys) laying the tracks for her express train to soar along with. Tracks like the 80's flashback synth/pop of 'A to Z,' coupled with the mid-tempo acoustic guitar vibe of 'Siren Song' are just two prime examples of the musical depth that Hildegard can reach.
Hines, now the current guitarist of the internationally acclaimed Christian Scott Quintet, has also released two records as a bandleader. Masakowski is a critically acclaimed jazz vocalist and has toured extensively as a leader also. But here on Hildegard, they both just sound like they are home. Like they belong in this duo alongside each other, as if it had all been one huge cosmic plan from the beginning.
Funnily enough, after about a year of touring as Cliff and Sasha, the duo only just recently announced that Hildegard was actually the new, official band name! They then took that one stage further and now call their fans "Hildegardians"! Oh, and their first single, and accompanying video for 'A to Z' recently premiered, and it's a tale of a romance turned murder story! Complete with an old Volvo (car) instruction manual, Chinese writing, and some darkly disturbing visions, any more exposure on this video - directed by Zac Manuel - should be down to your own private viewing!
Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk