Fovea Hex: I:I:XII Hail Hope
Janet Records

There apparently is a new Fovea Hex album on the horizon, but until then we'll have to make do with a nine-minute single produced by band member Michael Begg and featuring two wondrous samplings of the group's artistry. Listeners seduced by the Fovea Hex captured on Here Is Where We Used To Sing (textura's top album pick of 2011, incidentally) will no doubt be as won over by Hail Hope, even if the two songs on the recording are over quickly.

“Carol” begins as a magisterial, strings-heavy dirge before blossoming into a prototypical Fovea Hex incantation featuring vocals by Clodagh Simonds, Laura Sheeran, and others, with all of its rich sounds suspended in delicate rapture for four lustrous minutes. Even more affecting is “Lullaby (debris mix),” which makes good on its title with a serenading vocal melody lovely enough to ease the most restless child into a state of slumber. Augmented by violin, viola, cello, harmonium, and martial snares, the song's full arrangement and robust, chant-like delivery make for a powerful and addictive listen, and the strings episode with which it ends is a thing of beauty. Fovea Hex is hardly the most prolific group on the planet, but the obvious upside is that when new music by the outfit does appear, one knows that it will be music-making of the highest caliber.

February 2012