Later Fortune is the brainchild of Philadelphia’s Chet Delcampo and Heyward Howkins – two indie artists who have made their mark with solo records that stood apart from the crowd by using intelligent lyrics married to ridiculously strong melodies. Chet Delcampo (real name Chris Madl) took his name from Steve Buscemi’s character in the Coen Brothers’ classic, Barton Fink. He’s released a few solo records and singles along with two records under the Hong Kong Stingray moniker. Indie rock at its finest. Heyward Howkins might be familiar to some of my readers as I’ve reviewed both of his solo albums. I really have always loved his folk / pop sensibility as filtered through historical anecdotes by way of his Philadelphia roots. A band formed around these two huge talents is a major force to be reckoned with.
The band started out as a way for friends to get together and record spontaneous collaborations. The idea of recording a song a month was thrown around, with the result being an album released at the end of 12 months. Sometimes the best ideas start out with the best intentions but lead to a different result. And here’s what we have – the brand new, debut single from Later Fortune. As an introduction to a new band, it is perfect. It makes an impact and leaves the listener wanting more. A 12 Year Audition is a low-key gem, hushed vocals and resonant, joyful melody that builds as the song progresses. Birds of Papau is an instrumental b-side, evocative in the atmosphere it builds over the course of 3 minutes or so.
You can pick up the record here. I’m really looking forward to what comes next from Later Fortune , this is an impressive debut.
Verdict: Stunning Debut
For Fans of: Mojave 3, Neil Young, Honeychurch, Simon & Garfunkel
Another year gone by too quickly. Nothing left to do but try and recount all the great music releases of 2013. We saw the return of David Bowie, (3) new Mark Kozelek records, band reunions, and high-profile hip-hop releases. We also saw people upset with Miley Cyrus quite a bit and while I don’t enjoy her music I thought that the controversies were overblown. I was really looking forward to the new Eminem record but ended up liking only a few songs. Kanye West’s new record didn’t really do anything for me and I couldn’t get into the long-awaited My Bloody Valentine. My list is lacking some of those albums that are on other sites – some of them I didn’t dig all that much and some of them I just didn’t replay very much.What can I say? I march to my own beat. On the flip side, I loved every Mark Kozelek related album, discovered a few gems, and rocked out to Black Sabbath. So here’s a look at 50 music releases from 2013 that I played over and over again. I’ll see you in about a week with the 1st article of 2014.
A few months ago, I received a nice surprise in my email – a promo copy of the new Heyward Howkins album, about a year after the debut. An unexpectedly quick follow-up, it quickly became one of my favorite records of the year. I reviewed it right around the release date here, and still have it in my regular rotation. I recently had the chance to catch up with Heyward and we had the chance to talk about music, Philadelphia, and you guessed it…coffee.
Seems like it was just over a year ago that I was enjoying the Big Sky of Montana and Idaho in the company of loved ones. Actually, it has been just over a year now that I think about it. Nostalgia can be a double-edged sword – every moment thinking about the past is a moment away from the present. Fortunately, I was able to indulge just a bit as my soundtrack on that Idaho / Montana trip was the debut record by Philadelphia artist, Heyward Howkins. His follow-up record was sent my way a few weeks ago and I’ve played it non-stop ever since. What does an artist do for an encore when they’ve already delivered a perfect record? Well, they go ahead and better the previous record in ways the listener hadn’t imagined. Be Frank, Furness is the new record by Heyward Howkins and it is one of the standout records of 2013.
Can one ever truly leave home? Sure, The Ramones left home in 1977 but I’m talking about in the truest sense of the term. I left Pennsylvania in 2002, wide-eyed and optimistic about what waited for me in Washington State (it turns out – my ancestors – but that is a story for another time). I have to say though, as much as I love the Seattle area – Pennsylvania calls to me in unexpected ways as the years pass. On a recent trip to Montana I found myself creating a mental checklist of ways in which Montana reminded me of Pennsylvania. We can leave where we grew up but home is always where the heart is. The debut album by Heyward Howkins is a stunning exploration of his Pennsylvania roots spun in what is quickly becoming the trademark Philadelphia sound – country-ish Appalachian inspired folk (not to be confused with fellow Pennsylvania natives The Bacon Brothers style of Forosco aka folk-rock-soul-country)