Get your ears around this tidy little gem of a cover from Devon tunesmiths Hearing Aid Beige.
The five-piece – something of a supergroup back home in their native Totnes, more on that shortly – were asked by former Slow Club songwriter Charles Watson to contribute a song to his covers project Yup.
Watson released sophomore solo LP ‘Yes’ last year to great acclaim. Now, songs off that record are being reinterpreted by artists handpicked by Watson, on his brand new LP ‘Yup’. Hence Hearing Aid Beige’s slinky take on track two, All My Mountains.
“I first saw Charles play at Sea Change Festival in Totnes,” lead singer and guitarist Simon Hampshire tells CLASH. “He played a really wonderful acoustic set at the Barrel House. We really liked each other’s music, and he asked us to do a cover.”
The ‘All My Mountains’ cover – out today, May 26th – was recorded in Mexico City, where Hearing Aid Beige are signed to PYL Records, and Hampshire has toured with other bands “I was over there with [my other project] Yndi Halda and just struck up a great friendship with PYL. I played them some Hearing Aid Beige stuff and they immediately signed us for their roster. It was incredibly fortunate for us.”
Hearing Aid Beige began life as a recording project between songwriter Simon Hampshire and keyboardist Tommy Williams, a sought-after sound engineer who tours with Bonobo and Aurora, and Jimi Stewart, a guitarist, composer, producer, and engineer who works with RY X and Sandrayati. So as you’d expect, it’s sonically very glossy and ultra high def.
“I don’t know about glossy,” Simon offers. “I guess some of the production is pretty slick. We describe our own aesthetic as kaleidoscopic – rich in colour and imagery.”
Based in Totnes – “which has such depth of culture, with Drift records and Sea Change festival, and you’re near so many beaches and the wilds of Dartmoor” – Hearing Aid Beige also shares a bassist, Aubrey Simpson, with fellow local success story Pale Blue Eyes.
And their drummer, Jock, who can apparently drink the rest under the table. And he’s a triple New York Times bestselling comic artist, who’s made concept art for Star Wars. Phew.
Anyway, if you like Hearing Aid Beige’s cover of ‘All My Mountains’ you’ll love the rest of their stuff, like debut album ‘Drifting’ which came out last year. Charles Watson’s stuff is very in keeping with their lively, easy-on-the-ear English brand of hammock rock.
“I wish I’d written ‘All My Mountains’,” says Simon. “It’s a great song and instantly appealed to our aesthetic as a band. I think we aim to achieve a similar sense of imagery in our music as Charles, and in that sense I feel like we go quite well together as artists.”
Tune in now.
Words: Andy Hill