David Hopkins

St. August Records, 2018


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


A songwriter born in Dublin, Ireland, David Hopkins paid his dues playing in LiR before making the move to New York. It wasn't long after he relocated that Hopkins fronted Bombay Heavy, though a key friendship with Mark Stoermer (The Killers) led to Hopkins collaborating on Stoermer's solo albums. On Overlook my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Stoermer returns the favor and handles executive producer status.

“A Small German” opens up the album with soothing horns and hazy, instrumental, neoclassical sounds before leaping right into fuzzy funk on the '70s psyche-influenced “C'est La.” “When I Do It With You” follows and scales the tempos back, but it remains in the same time period with soulful vintage vibes that point towards R&B.

The middle of the album has Hopkins heading into singer-songwriter territory with the acoustic guitar oriented “The Spirit Song,” where his breathy singing really carries the tune. “Who Am I What Are We” keeps this spirit continuing with a breezy, melodic folk-pop song. “Irresponsible” then moves into a Latin rhythms and dreamy fun, showing much variety to the listen.

The last few tracks bring even more surprises, most noteworthy with the quirky pop of “Disappointed,” the piano balladry of “Let Somebody Inside,” and the album highlight, “God & Gabriel,” which is especially British at its core. The cozy listen exits very similar to how it started, as “A Smaller German” finishes things with muffled French horns, graceful acoustic guitars, and some spoken word.

Hopkins has already worked alongside The Who and Damien Rice, and his resume has certainly helped him shape this intimate and very rich album. A man with many talents, this is an album with ever-changing ideas and textures. It will appeal to fans of The Beatles, Nick Drake, Pink Floyd or even Radiohead.

Hopkins has said that this is the first album he's done where he did not have to compromise and was able to do everything under his own control, and let's hope that's his M.O. moving forward, too.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2018 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of St. August Records, and is used for informational purposes only.