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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Hex – Donette Thayer, Steve Kilbey March 29, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to..., Uncategorized.
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Hex was a collaboration between Donette Thayer of Game Theory and Steve Kilbey of the Church. It lasted two albums long, starting with the eponymous “Hex” album in 1988 and then the follow-up “Vast Halos” in 1990.

It’s an interesting one, Kilbey’s new-wave/psychedelia infused aesthetic is here and yet it’s oddly muted, perhaps because Thayer brings her own aesthetic – one positioned in indie guitar rock – and a characterful voice as well. I’m always fascinated by joint projects. How do they divide up the composition, the arrangements and so on? But this one I find particularly pleasing because while Kilbey appears to have written much of the music, his approach doesn’t overwhelm it.

I particularly like the cool quality of Thayer’s voice when set against the strummed guitars (and as an aside it’s remarkable to me that Thayer hasn’t done more over the years – a solo album from 1997 is out of print but has some great songs on it to judge from what one can hear online), warm swells of keyboard and nascent electronic percussion. There’s a detachment there. Though for all that it seems to me there’s an oddly pastoral feel to both the songs and the lyrics, and if the basslines – again often electronic – bring to mind the gothier end of post-punk (exhibit A, ‘In the Net’, exhibit B, ‘Mercury Towers’), well that’s no crime in my book.

The second album was released some years later, again under the Hex name, but it was – to my ears at least – slighter, albeit with some interesting individual tracks (as with Hollywood in Winter, see below). But this first album is cohesive from start to finish.

Diviner

Ethereal Message

In the Net

Mercury Towers

Elizabeth Green

Hollywood in Winter (from the second Hex album)

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