I first heard about this project via Relevant Magazine’s The DROP music showcase last summer. I was intrigued almost immediately by “The New Hello (Hers)” but this EP was overshadowed by the myriad of higher profile releases last Autumn that I was also interested in. However, this side project of Jars of Clay’s Dan Haseltine nagged at me to finally give it the attention it deserved, and I’m glad I did.
This project made the top ten lists of several music bloggers in 2011 for good reason. The project also consists of producers Jeremy Bose and Matt Bronleewe, who have also contributed to Plumb records, including the famous remix of “Cut.” The Hawk in Paris sounds like the more electronic experimentation heard from Jars of Clay on their The Long Fall Back to Earth record, but with enough evolution to sound fresh and like a distinct musical project.
The record is bookended by two versions of the “The New Hello”, the His and Hers versions (hence the title). The Hers version is spacey and its combination of Haseltine’s vocals and synth is nearly irresistible, whereas in the other version they prefer to go for a quirkier version with distorted vocals that can be a bit of a turn off if you don’t give the rest of the song a chance.
The meat of the record never quite gives up the space-rock vibe, but each track takes a different position on the dichotomy between ballads and dance-ready tracks. ”Curse the Love Songs” is an interesting take on the ballad which approaches the concept from an almost sarcastic perspective. ”Science Fiction” appropriately represents the dance rock side of the dichotomy with just a hint of angst. Overall the His+Hers EP provides an enjoyable listen that will get music enthusiasts salivating for expected new project from the band in 2012.