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Ari Hest, The Fire Plays
(Project 4 Records)

03/07/13
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



3/7/2013 -  Like TV On the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, Hest is in his mid-30s and possessed of a croaky soulfulness when in chillout mode. There are no rockouts with Hest, however; his thing is stripped-to-the-hooks radio-folk, a little bit Paul Simon, a little bit Amos Lee, but mostly evoking Warren Zevon, whose much-missed wryness and simple, natural, effortless way with rock-tinged makes-you-think Americana has been resurrected/rebooted for this generation – the Zevon likeness is outright ghostly on “Winter of Yes,” for example. Prolificacy is part of the equation also; Hest pulled off the “Project 52” in 2009, writing and recording one song a week for one year, thus there was a lot of stuff to choose from during the planning stage of this one, which eventually centered around a concept of foregoing distraction for being present in life.  The sounds run a gamut of hayloft-indie on “All Because,” halcyon-cowboy haze on “Couldn’t Have Her,” and a dead-on Seal-soundalikeness during the chorus for “Set in Stone.” A






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