"Couche Moi C'est La Vie" by HEKReview
Reiss Pinder is what I might call a restless creative spirit: always looking to the future & not resting particularly on past laurels. We first came to many people's attention as part of the much praised Wilde (check out their "Wasted" on ‘Hot Music Live Presents Volume Four') and then his eagerly awaited solo debut "California" was equally lauded as the beginning of a career for one of the area's most talented writers & performers.
Not content however with those outlets, Reiss has also been working putting together a group called HEK ("Heicheekei") which comprises himself on vocals & guitar, Lucy Gardner on keyboards, Olivia Gardner on bass guitar, Josh Sellis on guitar and Sean Statham drumming.
Produced by Jon at the Moonbase, I'm fascinated that in their debut release, "Couche Moi C'est La Vie", we have a second French themed single from one of our area's top talents this year alone: and like "The French Song" by Shanghai Hostage, it uses that language for a trip into the amorous side of life: as so often artists have in the past. It's almost designed for that.
However, quite apart from the totally different sound, HEK's song is distinguished both by being less saucy than Shanghai Hostage's and because much of the lyric is in English (equally, despite the nod in the title, it's far from "Lady Marmalade" by Labelle). It's also not in what people would think of as the idiom of French chanson, though Reiss' vocal does play about with the balance between melody and passion characteristic of that form.
Rather closer in feel to "California" than the work of Wilde, and in fact might (ironically I suppose) get filed under "Americana" given the musical feel at times (though to be honest that's a most interesting hybrid too: maybe Reiss recruited people adept at playing not only Americana but a post-punk clatter and a smidgeon of Celtic mysticism crossed with blues rock): the title is in fact a bit of a bait to draw you in, expecting one thing & then tip your expectations on their head, as it's really I suppose a big picture lover's plea, encompassing much more of an aspiration than merely sleeping together. This sounds like a philosopher singing & maybe that explains the rather epic scale: over seven minutes with a long but tasteful coda taking up more than a third of the time, offering a profundity & grandeur which puts the idea of mere carnality firmly to rest.
In fact the scale & skill of the playing begs the question of whether HEK will be playing live (as I write this, Reiss had a solo gig himself supporting The Session last night). I hope that they do.