Hank Close, performing as Hank!, has played guitar for the past 20 years, and written music for 18 of those. Prior to branching out as a solo artist, he worked with the prog rock band Absent Boundaries, and the folk rock duo, Hank & Brendan. Now he’s on his own, and his debut solo album, ‘Guilty Pleasures (Are The Best Ones)’, was released last Friday, October 15. He dropped three singles before it, ‘Stupid Teens’, ‘Lady St.’, and the one we’re going to focus on, ‘Why Go’.
All three are deeply inciteful songs, as Hank explains,
“The singles are more or less about relationships. Even though the lyrics focus on specific situations, they can reference any number of events I’ve experienced throughout my life. That’s part of the beauty of songwriting as far as I’m concerned. You can write a song describing one particular set of circumstances, but oftentimes they find connections to similar emotions and events that transpire later on. Eventually, over time, the songs find a common thread.”
‘Why Go’, a stirring track, sets its focus on an argument between two fictional people, who are nonetheless committed to the relationship. Hank!’s vocals are raw and slightly discordant in a pleasing way – think a cross between Morrissey and Bob Dylan; intellectual music. The instrumentals further enhance the Morrissey vibe, jangly guitars and energetic drums.
Speaking of ‘Why Go’, Hank! says,
“At the time, I tended to dismiss it as pure fiction, because I really didn’t know what I was talking about,” he muses. “It was pure fiction. Now, however, I’m finding some meaning that I had not necessarily intended to unearth before. I’m particularly keen on the off-kilter drum fills.”
Hank!’s music takes a few listens to really appreciate the deeper components, but it’s nonetheless appealing even just the first time through. The tapering off at the end of ‘Why Go’ was a surprising and very pleasant adjunct to the rest of the track – the ear follows along as if following a car as it drives into the distance.
‘Guilty Pleasures (Are The Best Ones)’, by Hank!, is out now. You can find Hank! and his music online on Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Listen to ‘Why Go’ below: