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"Have You Seen Our New Fort?" is a collection of new and re-worked songs from the last few years of Hezekiah Jones. On this new album, listeners will find out why the Philadelphia folk scene can't get enough of Hezekiah Jones' depth of instrumentation and contagious beat with songs like Mind Malaise, Drawing Pictures and Airplane Window. You can then follow that up with Raphael Cutrufello's signature ballads like the haunting Lift the Shadow From This Heart and two new takes on 2009 "Bread of Teeth" EP's laments; Traffic to the Sea and I Love my Family.
"New Fort" also sees the resurfacing of Cannonball (I've Got a Little Room) that was originally released on a split 7" with Chris Bathgate and released by our friends at Quite Scientific Records. The Fort version brings the addition of contemporary and producer Andrew Lipke's horn arrangements - the song sings anew. We also see another appearance from Chris Bathgate in the form of the Hezekiah Jones' cover of The Last Parade on Ann St. from Bathgate's 2007 album A Cork Tale Wake.
With the production and ear of previously mentioned Philly artist Andrew Lipke at the helm, the songs of this album become the "new fort" and home of where leader Raphael Cutrufello and the rest of the Jones' currently find themselves. With peaks and valley's of true song-crafting, a complete album is felt through both sides of this vinyl release.
Ah, Bread of Teeth, the infamous stop-gap EP - you know the one to bridge the distance until the anticipated sophomore release? - it's always a tricky balance between the work the audience already knows and hints as to what the future record will hold. Bread of Teeth, the new EP from Philadelphia's Hezekiah Jones, serves this normally utilitarian function with all the sublime gracefulness we've all come to expect from him. Here, Hezekiah Jones deftly bridges the distance from his early work with the long-defunct Stillwillis (in the form of Iowa Alligator and Sorry Waltz, penned by former band-mate Matt Helm) and the fragile swing of his years-in-the-making full-length sophomore record.
Hezekiah Jones' Come To Our Pool Party EP (and I hesitate to call it such as it's almost as long as their last full length) is several firsts for Yer Bird: our first EP release and our first second release by an artist - it feels like the best kind of growth, the kind that takes stock of what's come before it and pushes it forward.
In many ways, this album shows that same kind of growth for Hezekiah Jones. Raph Cutrufello, the band's primary singer, lyricist and all around handyman, has drawn on a wide palette of experiences, people and recordings from the past several years to put this all together.
Hezekiah Says You're A-Ok, the debut album from Philadelphia songwriter vehicle Hezekiah Jones, is a record both nuanced and swayingly graceful. Falling somewhere in the realm between early Leonard Cohen and Will Oldham's Bonnie 'Prince' Billy recordings, Hezekiah Jones has crafted an album of tightly coiled harmonies, memorable lyrical melodies, and nimble, literate songwriting.