Melodic folk pop with thoughful lyrics, soaring harmonies and rich, textured production.
Any Forgotten Thing is the second album by the acclaimed songwriting and performing team of Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson, known collectively as Hungrytown. The CD features twelve original tracks, recorded entirely in the couple’s home studio, affectionately known as Song Catcher, over a two-month break between tours. “It’s appropriate that this CD was recorded at home,” Rebecca explains, “because it’s our house and our struggle to maintain it that provided the inspiration for this album.”
Married in 1994, by late 2003, Rebecca and Ken were ready to embark upon their new lives as full-time musicians, moving from their office day jobs and towering apartment in lower Manhattan to a creaking little house nestled in the hills of southern Vermont. They were unfamiliar with the duties of rural home ownership, and before too long, the roof leaked, the porch sagged and their tiny home seemed about ready to tumble off its fieldstone foundations. “We realized that in many ways, houses are like people, that without care, attention and patience, they are in danger of falling into disrepair,” Ken explains, “which provided the metaphor for the album’s title track.” Fortunately for Rebecca and Ken, they had moved into a very supportive community, and thanks to help from neighbors, relatives and a steep learning curve, their house has become a respectable home. Not only that, but a whole album’s worth of material now joins the title track.
Though a common thread weaves through Any Forgotten Thing, each song has been written, arranged and recorded as a self-supporting entity. For example, the opening track, “Year Without a Summer,” is set in 1816, when some parts of the northeastern United States, already prone to cold winters, were snowed upon every month. The story concerns a young girl in trouble whose lover, conveniently enough, promises a springtime wedding. “Calliope” conjures an old-time fairground, in which the haunting music and spinning of the carousel inspires the singer to reflect back on her life and choices. “Falling Star” combines an unusual lyrical perspective and spare, delicate production to create a poignant intimacy between singer and subject.
Rebecca Hall, known for her beautiful, timeless compositions and haunting alto voice, contributed her songwriting talents, guitar and lead vocals. Time Out New York promises that “sweet voiced Rebecca Hall will drive you to swoon,” while Sing Out! praises her “superb songwriting craft.” Ken, who “has a knack for crafting rich arrangements that don’t clutter things up” (Seven Days Magazine), handled all arrangement and production duties, employing his multi-instrumental skills to bring each song to life with judicious use of accordion, banjo, bass, drums, Wurlitzer electric piano, glockenspiel, guitar, Hammond B3 organ, harmonica, mandolin, percussion and trademark luxuriant harmony vocals. In addition, the harmonies on three tracks were enriched with the voice of their talented neighbor, singer-songwriter Laura Molinelli.
Hungrytown will be busy supporting Any Forgotten Thing in 2011 with a tour of the UK and Finland in the spring and shows throughout the US in the summer and beyond.