Hat Check Girl 'At 2 in the Morning'- Gallway Bay

Hat Check Girl is collaboration between veteran songwriters Annie Gallup and Peter Gallway and is their fifth recording. These 11 songs highlight deeply literate songwriting and a mature knowledge of the craft. Stripped down and bare, the intimacy of the recording comes across as truly authentic.

Annie sings and plays guitars, banjo, dobro, and lap steel. She has ten releases to her name and her finely honed playing and writing skills are always strongly evident. Peter is featured on vocals, acoustic and electric guitars. He has released more than a dozen recordings. As a producer he’s been involved in over fifty albums and other projects.

These are songs of understated connection; connection with each other, with our inner selves, with our darker sides, but ultimately with the untold regrets and hidden memories that we keep locked away. There is not a weak song on this recording and it contains some spine-tingling moments of magic when the two musicians spark off each other with restrained guitar interplay.

Steel Clouds and Cold Cold Rain is written in tribute to Joni Mitchell and reflects her life perfectly. Texas is refers to the great song-writers from that state who have graced our lives. Tornados Sound Like Trains is a haunting insight into our different life experience and Coal Black Pony explores the complexities in trying to understand someone intimately.

Leaving is a wonderfully realised song that covers the full range of emotions experienced in relationships and the inevitable urge for self- blame. Coda: Remember is an absolute master class in song-writing, incorporating key parts of other songs on this release and blending the individual parts into a cohesive whole. Many delights await the listener and this release goes to the top of my favourites for 2015. It is simply superb.

Hat Check Girl 'At 2 In The Morning' - Gallway Bay

Hat Check Girl is in reality a duo of singers and players who write the majority of their own songs. Peter Gallway and Annie Gallup deliver a set of sparse, quietly intimate duets. This is their fifth album and it shows the interplay between the two is drawn from respect and the refinement of their talents. Gallup adds lap steel, dobro and 6 string banjo to the duo’s staple of acoustic and electric guitars. Both have an individual vocal presence that both work together and in their own right.

They are seasoned performers who both have a long history individually as well as together, and are making the kind of music that is free from outside direction. They are the producers of the album too, which means they have complete freedom with their music. However this means that there will be those for whom this stripped down folk music will not appeal. It is a niche without doubt and something that is a difficult sell unless you have encountered their music either live or on record. That shouldn’t take away from this, or their other albums; rather it means that they need to find their own audience, something that is both easier and harder these days.

Their albums can be heard on CD Baby and this new album is in a simpler setting than previous albums. It is perfectly suited to playing at the aforementioned hour of the title. Hat Check Girl will doubtless welcome your head space for their music whatever time your care to offer it.