"No Two Minds" by HEK

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"No Two Minds" by HEK

Review

Sometimes, far too long elapses between the releases of a given artist (lord knows that COVID19 affected this). I appreciate that some artists have bursts of recording sessions, often with the view to getting down enough tracks for an EP or album, and then release individual ones in the form of singles ahead of the big drop.

Nevertheless, as a music lover as much as a reviewer, I can be taken by surprise by the short space of time between singles from certain musicians: for example I've barely finished getting my head around one song from Izzie Derry or Joe Dolman at the moment before they share another one. It certainly keeps us on our toes as well as building helpful career momentum too. Others, like the prolific Daffod'I'll fall into their own unique categories in this respect.

I wasn't at all expecting the new HEK single "No Two Minds" so soon though (it's due out on May 13th): and surprises are a great part of my enjoyment of what I do. Mere weeks after their debut , "Couche Moi C'est La Vie", was reviewed here, here we are again focusing on them: though again, I'd say not only is the swift follow up a testament to the enthusiasm for the members for the new project, but also a wise decision in favour of that momentum I referred to.

While that first glimpse of HEK was quite a long way from the previous work of vocalist & guitarist Reiss Pinder, it was further still from the work bassist Olivia Gardner & guitarist Josh Sellis get up to with their other band Monastery, whose "Devil's Call" single we reviewed last week (namechecks also to the other members Lucy Gardner on (keyboards) and Sean Statham drumming). I guess all find it stimulating to stretch themselves musically & demonstrate the breadth of their talent.

"No Two Minds" also shows the breadth of HEK as a whole, given its very strong distinctions from its predecessor.  Who'd have previously thought (not me certainly) that these particular musicians would come up with such a glorious pop track? Just goes to show that our putting artists into conceptual boxes of our mental creation rather than their own can be both lacking in respect & liable to blowing up on us.

My immediate thought was that "this might be a hit": it certainly has the potential for crossover into mainstream media attention. It might be ironic given the other creative directions some are involved in if this did do well: but then the Coventry area has a few precedents, the most spectacular of which might be the number one single Lieutenant Pigeon enjoyed: a "band" intended originally as a mere side project of the serious experimental band Stavely Makepeace.

All the band shine brightly (the production is another which blends the elements together beautifully while retaining the distinct qualities of each: credit to Jon at The Moonbase) but the first part which caught my ear was the prominence of Lucy's work which is the bedrock of the song's unique qualities as well as providing various embellishments throughout.

By sheer coincidence, my current car mixtape contains a lot of "Nuggets" era gems: 60's garage classics from bands who certainly did not become household names. Whether HEK have gone to the same well for "No Two Minds" or not, they certainly share the same sensibilities: groovy organ washes, chiming guitars, harmonies: who could wish for more? Perhaps a little more polished than the 60s songs I've been revisiting, it could though fit into a collection of them as seamlessly as anything by say The Barbarians, The Remains or The Electric Prunes. That the "Nuggets" album is also called ‘Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era' gives a little hint too as to what HEK have served up for us here. Soul, groove, dynamics & enough bite in the dish elevate it far above mere confectionary.You've have detected my considerable enthusiasm for "No Two Minds": it's the effect I guess of being taken by surprise by something just so good & unexpected. For a band only two songs into their career, they sound like they've been playing together a long time: and I hope that comes to pass as they clearly have so much to offer, though presumably conflicting demands on their time must be a factor. I loved it & think that you will too.

HEK are not just a recorded phenomenon: they are getting out there more & more as a live experience & as things on that front seem to be evolving as swiftly as on the release side, you had best consult their page (linked to this article) for the most up to date news of gigs: both on radio & in venues.

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