There are moments in life when everything comes togehther, when a process comes full circle, when the hard work of the past pays off. Sometimes you might let this moment slip away but when you’re lucky you are just at the right time at the right place. It’s pretty much the situation where German singer/songwriter Stefan HONIG is currently. The release of his second longplayer Empty Orchestra is the final step of a constant development in the past years. After spending years on small stages, building a fan base and a network of befriended musicians and arists, after recording and releasing EPs on his own, HONIG finally hits the place he belongs – the spotlight of the world. The second longplayer of one of Germanys best kept musical secrets is true beauty from start to end that doesn’t need to hide itself from big international comeptition. BON IVER, WILLIAM FITZSIMMONS and co. watch out for the new folk-kid in town.
Released on the established Haldern Pop Recordings label, Empty Orchestra is a high quality longplayer. The basic sketches for the songs were recorded in an old school building in the Czech Republic and were later reworked and added by befriended musicians as HONIG recently told us in an interview. The years of connecting, making friends, playing small living room or club concerts pay off as all of HONIG‘s friends found the time to add their musical ideas to the songs of their colleque. With this professional work ethic the man from Düsseldorf was finally abled to produce the record he always wanted to create. Eleven songs between introspective acoustic songwriting and hymnic folklore show all aspects of HONIG‘s abilities. Silent and melancholic moments like the opener Sleep Driver or The Morning Chorus team up with a bit more euphoric ones like For Those Lost At Sea and Look What The Tight Brought In. Choirs, trumpets and e-guitars team up with HONIG‘s characteristic acoustic instrumentation and make the whole album sound fuller.
But in general the silent and melancholic moments outweigh the heavier ones. It’s an introspective feeling that floates through beautiful songs like The Old House or Hunters. But there is always a sense of solace within the voice of the singer/songwriter. And a lot of emotion and urge whenever HONIG raises his voice, when it suddenly cracks, falls out of tune and breaks with the listeners expectations. This is the sense of emotion that keeps Empty Orchestra going through each of this eleven songs. A record for the upcoming autumn days, for the introverted situations in life despite being too sad all over the place. It’s a sweet hymnic melancholia that keeps the listener tied to the longplayer. Out of nowhere and full of potential – fans of beautiful and honest acoustic pop might find a new favourite in the form of this friendly and pleasantly relaxed newcomers. He’s definitely got something to say and a lot to give as HONIG himself pointed out in the final track Horns: “There’s gotta be more than this…” – we sure hope so.
acoustic / folk
from Düsseldorf, Germany