Experimental Alternative Group HuDost Releases New EP: Waking the Skeleton Key
A year after her brain surgery, HuDost lead singer Moksha Sommer is ready to release new music and a fresh direction for the group. Deprived of her ability to communicate for months, Sommer unlocked new expression in her recovery. Turning to music as the key to her recovery, she used the creative process to explore both hemispheres of her brain, reestablish damaged neural pathways, and develop new ones. Her journey gave form to HuDost's highly anticipated forthcoming release, Waking the Skeleton Key.
HuDost is a unique and talented full ensemble, performing compositions with influences as diverse as pop, rock, Balkan and Croatian folk music, Sufi music, and Appalachian folk music. Founded by singer and lyricist Moksha Sommer of Montreal and Jemal Wade Hines of New York, the group has toured the US since 2006 and presented concerts across Canada, Europe, and Turkey. Their most recent and acclaimed album, Trapeze, was produced by Grammy award winning producer Malcolm Burn. For Waking the Skeleton Key, Jemal Wade Hines took the helm and embarked on a journey by producing all of the new songs while also contributing a vast array of musical elements; speciafically the majority of guitar parts that delve into opposite extremes of electric rock and gentle ambiance. Grammy winning sound artist Oz Fritz mixed and mastered all of the tracks.
Now HuDost is ready to unleash this latest project. Waking the Skeleton Key combines new songs, remixes, experimental pieces, and the revealing of a new dimension in talent. Sommer set out to write songs that reflected her journey and new appreciation for experiencing the world. “Korea” delves into how technology cannot fully compensate for the void left in a long distance friendship where personal touch and physical closeness are impossible. “Glacier” is dedicated to the issue of global warming, exploring the ability of the planet to sustain itself even with the extinction of humanity. “Hunger,” which she wrote on the Shahi Baaja, a stringed instrument with keys, tells of the longings that we all experience.
The song “Skeleton Key” serves as the heart of the work. It emenates the desire for the world to unabshedly seek what is missing and discover common ground. The album includes an experimental computer music track created by Sommer and enhanced by Hines. It also features a cover of the song “Invisible,” originally recorded by the well-known Australian art rock band The Church, now featuring a groundbreaking zikr outro for an original and uniquely HuDost slant.
The album also contains reimaginings of old favorites. “All My Guitars” has been stripped down and reformed into an acoustic country and eastern song, featuring banjo, pedal steel, and electric sitar performed by ensemble virtuoso Ken Rosser who also adds his magic to many of the other new songs. “Salome” brings back the harmonies of Linda Worster and Hines, “lost” in the original Trapeze recording, and adds magical interplay between the strings, flutes, bass, and guitars. The diverse instuments are expertly handled by the recent touring ensemble, including vocalist Stephanie Heidemann, drummer Billy Dean, percussionist Julian Douglas, and HuDost stalwart Dan Walters.
World and alternative music fans and critics, who so enthusiastically received Trapeze, will find in Waking the Skeleton Key an even deeper dimension and development to the unique HuDost style, enhanced by the trials the band has encountered and their fresh understanding of how music completes us.
Here's an in depth interview with Moksha and Jemal Wade about the new album: