We set up on a rooftop in Venice Beach, against the traffic of Pacific Ave. and the intermittent airplanes overhead. It was the building Christine used to live in before traveling to Montreal (she had met Harris and Farid on a trip out there, ended up joining the band, recording an EP, and heading off on a tour across the country, through Canada, and back, all in a frenzied couple-month timeframe). I had been talking to her about possibly doing some artwork for the website, and it turned out her newest musical project happened to be coming to LA for a couple days. So naturally, we had to do a session. This was actually our second attempt to film something (two nights earlier we'd tried the same spot but arrived after it'd gotten dark, so we postponed).
The night before, The Hoof & The Heel kicked off their tour at the Viper Room to a typical mingling Tuesday night crowd of begrudging hipsters with vodka tonics and folded arms. But it didn't take long for the crowd to warm up, and even start dancing, by gosh! Their lovable brand of indie-pop, packed to the brim with catchy melodies, call and response harmonies, and a seemingly endless supply of charming synth hooks, is hard to resist.
While their album does have a bit of folkiness and moments of melancholy, it tends towards the happier side of things, with layered instrumentation and bouncy arrangements. But this session was decidedly more stripped down and somber, and it brings out the soul of front-man Harris Shper's songwriting. A gorgeous balance in Shper and Hale's back and forth, acoustic strumming, and sparse percussion (brushes on the back of a guitar, shaker, tambourine), even a little clarinet.
Find out more about The Hoof & The Heel @ www.myspace.com/thehoofandtheheel
Check out Christine Hale's artwork @ www.lovechristine.com
Camera: Elliot Glass
Sound: Elliot Glass
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