If you haven’t heard Dan­ish singer song­writer Hjalte Ross before, Think­ing About You, his lat­est track, is a good place to start. Open­ing with an upbeat blast of brass that gives way to Ross’s sur­pris­ing­ly deep and soul­ful vocals, the path leads you fur­ther on into a gor­geous­ly expan­sive piano sec­tion. Think­ing About You takes you on a jour­ney. Under­pin­ning the very foun­da­tion of the song is its insis­tent beat, cre­at­ing ten­sion, echo­ing and empha­sis­ing the rest­less search for onward motion.

Think­ing About You was writ­ten in a Nor­we­gian light­house which stands on a chunk of rock on the remote Lofoten Islands. Pre iso­la­tion soli­tude. It was here that Ross pieced togeth­er Waves of Haste, his sec­ond album, to be released on 27 Novem­ber; nat­u­ral­ly the waves become the theme of the work, a metaphor for the jour­neys we take in life, an idea he explores through the course of the album. 

By way of com­plete geo­graph­i­cal con­trast, Ross trav­elled on from his remote light­house home to immerse him­self in New York City where he mixed the album with Daniel Good­win (who has worked with Kevin Mor­by), in order to skil­ful­ly blend the two oppos­ing ele­ments into his music. “Trav­el­ling and stay­ing in new places sets the cre­ative parts in motion, it gives a per­spec­tive to things,” he says. “I want­ed to embrace the city music I could hear in these new songs.”

The upcom­ing album Waves of Haste, which fol­lows the Dan­ish songwriter’s 2018 debut LP Embody, was once again record­ed with leg­endary pro­duc­er John Wood in Seb­ber­sund near Ross’s child­hood home. Wood has worked with numer­ous artists such as Pink Floyd, Nico, Fair­port Con­ven­tion, Incred­i­ble String Band and Nick Drake. Wood asked Ross if he could work with him after Ross had got in touch to ask for advice. There are cer­tain­ly echoes of Nick Drake’s deep, warm vocal deliv­ery in Ross’s songs.

This new work is more upbeat than Ross’s pre­vi­ous work. And there’s a new sense of con­fi­dence, an extra bite to the lyrics, an extra depth to that unhur­ried voice. “I have become a bet­ter song­writer, a bet­ter singer, and a bet­ter gui­tar play­er,” Hjalte empha­sis­es.

‘Waves Of Haste’ Pre-order – https://hjalteross.com/order
Released 27th Novem­ber 2020 via Would­n’t Waste Records

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