In 2011 there were several notable re-releases such as James Vincent McMorrow’s Early in the Morning, Sean Rowe’s Magic, The Head and the Heart’s self-titled debut and Hip Hatchet’s Men Who Share My Name, which was re-released in August under Gravitation Records. Hip Hatchet is basically the sole project of Philippe Bronchtein, who is joined by a few talented friends and the angelic harmonies from Amelia throughout the album. Currently based in Portland, Oregon, Bronchtein wrote Men Who Share My Name one winter while living in Vermont and it shows in the melancholy tone that still contains the warmth of hearth and heart.
A quietly impressive album, Men Who Share My Name is a beauty. It’s thoroughly poetic and profoundly thoughtful delicately evoking memories of heartbreak and dejection resulting in an emotional experience. The spacious arrangements and acoustic flourishes beautifully and expressively carry each word and line. And, Bronchtein’s baritone voice is clear and strong while remaining tender blanketing the listener in an aura of warming comfort on a winter’s day.
I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve only now started listening to the album. Why I have not given Hip Hatchet or Men Who Share My Name the attention it deserves is beyond me because it’s truly splendid music.