Anyone who had the good fortune to grab a copy of The Hackles’ debut The Twilight’s Calling It Quits, and were charmed by its pure honesty, will know that the spark ignited there always had the potential to glow even more brightly.
Captured mostly live, on reel-to-reel tape, it was a brilliant introduction and indicated that something great was bursting out of their home state of Oregon.
Kati Claborn and Luke Ydstie – both core members of the band Blind Pilot – had impressed with their sumptuous vocal harmonies and song-writing skills. The follow-up, A Dobritch Did As A Dobritch Should, packed with the same melodic and intelligent creativity but burnished with just a touch more subtle production and musical muscle, finally confirmed them as a major force on the Americana/indie-folk circuit.
When you choose to settle in what is the oldest settlement west of the Rocky Mountains – the town of Astoria on the big Columbia River – it would be easy to assume you had a desire to be far-from-the-madding-crowd or close to off-grid.
Far from it! And, here, the couple illustrated the full extent of their willingness to tune in to the balances and imbalances of the world, which have an impact on us all.
They hope people can really connect to their music in a personal way.
“We’re looking at the big picture through individual lives,” offers Kati.
Friends and collaborators of American folk hero Michael Hurley, they played on his highly acclaimed 2021 release The Time of the Foxgloves, and that same year, had a track on the tribute album, Snockument.
Hackles are those fine hairs on the back of our neck that stand up whenever an emotional response is triggered. Whatever your personal trigger is, whether sweet vocal harmonies, lyrics with special resonance or soulful presentation that raises the goosebumps, this pair deliver.
A new album is in production and will feature a couple of tracks written by close friend and long-time Hackles auxiliary member Halli Anderson of River Whyless.