Friday, 27 April 2012


Here I hand the page over to Tim Patrick whose enthusiasm is contagious:

TT says: HONEYCHURCH... through the cracks, but 'caught' by a lucky few...

Spring cleaning... that time of the year again. 
Last year, I unloaded all of my VHS tapes, cassettes, most of my vinyl, a bunch of CD's and loads of books. 
This year I'm thinning out my stack of old music magazines. 
I happened to be um, let's just say I was on the "throne" thumbing through an August '04 issue of "Paste" magazine. 
I spotted a tiny ad from an indie mail-order company, describing a band going by the moniker 'Honeychurch' with an album 'Makes Me Feel Better'
The little blurb used a seductive pitch... 
"A rapturous effort, melding undulating pop with indie-folk dreaminess. Ferried by a variety of guitars, strings and organ, these are romantic, blissfully transcendent songs." 
Hmmm... totally obscure, but worthy of inquiry!

'HONEYCHURCH'... I began by "fishing" at Youtube, and a couple of audio clips came up. The first tune I punched was the elegantly British-sounding 'CHANCERY LANE'... I was hooked! All I could do was listen to it over and over. The blurb was right on the money. This track is lushly arranged chamber pop. Sweet harmonies, incandescent strings, a wisp of oboe after the lovely bridge, and the clincher... a yearning pedal steel guitar accenting the entire piece... 5:06 minutes of sheer beauty!

Eventually, I listened to the other clips... 'Fields On Fire', 'Welcome Home Spacegirl', 'Miko II' are all splendid. More of an 'americana' vibe, not as immediate as 'Chancery' but definite growers. I hate pigeon-holing, since there is an amalgam of styles here; but the closest comparison that comes to mind is Hem and Mojave 3, and with that combo of superb songs and ubiquitous pedal steel maybe a little Miracle Mile!

As far as a bio of the band, there isn't a lot of info. Based out of Bucks County, Pennsylvania the core consists of husband and wife Shilough and Larissa Hopwood, with guitar whiz Tim Kratz and Doncaster, England native Greg Millward on drums. Honeychurch's albums were released with the help of a local independent record store, Siren Records in Doylestown, PA. Mostly regionally appreciated, this is a band playing "for the love of it." 
When I received my CD, Larissa sent along a hand-written card of greeting and thanks which was special. 

If you like what you hear, Honeychurch have three official albums 'Calling Me Home' (2001), 'Makes Me Feel Better' (2004), both deleted and almost impossible to find. I managed to pick up a used copy of the 2nd album from for a fair price, but most copies are about $40. The band have recently issued a compilation "Early Times 2001-2004" which misses a couple of great tracks, but works fine. Also, this March 2012 they released their 3rd album 'Will You Be There With Me' which may not have a knock-out tune, but is consistently gorgeous; I'm falling more in love with each listen. This one will surely make my Top 10 of 2012!

You can LISTEN to or purchase both of the latter CD's at: 

1 comment:

  1. Nice job Trev, this linking format is much less bulky and tidier. Looks great, and loving the Honeychurch clips!!!