“Escapism is good for you, and Star Chamber has it in spades.” – The Line Of Best Fit
“To my ears, there won’t be many records this good released in 2018.” – The 405
Hailing from Brighton, the project is spearheaded by Max Kinghorn-Mills. Occupying a space between Super Furry Animals and Soft Machine – Hollow Hand’s debut album is out now, via Talkshow Records.
2019 is a complex and scary place. Kinghorn Mills finds salvation in art “I’m probably trying to divert my mind from the negative impacts of modernity. Maybe because I just can’t really handle it” he explains. The resulting music is an attempt at empowerment: a distraction from the pernicious and the perilous.
The album is a celebration of beauty. “I try to surround myself with beautiful objects, art, music, stories & ideas because I’m trying desperately to find happiness and navigate my way through life safely.. fantasy has always been a huge attraction for me, romance and mythology in history & art” he continues.
Anger has always been a natural response to injustice. But the work of Syd Barrett, The Grateful Dead (both acts who have influenced Hollow Hand) and countless other artists in the 1960s/1970s demonstrate how revolt can be achieved through aesthetics as well as the primal.
An entirely DIY project, the album was recorded at the bottom of a leafy garden, a home-made studio pieced together by three friends. Nature plays a crucial role in Hollow Hand’s sound. As Kinghorn-Mills explains, “When I recorded the album we were literally affected by the elements, the changing of the seasons. We didn’t have much protection from the outside, if there was a storm we would have to record through it, if the Yamaha DX7 was waterlogged from a breach the night before we’d have to dry it out on the heater and record some other parts first. When you hear these recordings you might notice the sounds of birds (summer songs were recorded with the door open, birdsong is present)”.
“The album is about hope – positivity – looking to the beauty of the past for reasons to carry on”