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Reba Hasko


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Fierce alternative pop, with an experimental flavour

Status:

Most recent release, "The Message (Ladylilt Mix)" (single, 2014); most recent full-length release, Delicate Cyclone (2013)

See also:

Reba Hasko's Myspace page

CDBaby's page for Reba Hasko

Reba Hasko's Bandcamp site

Comparisons:

Tori Amos, Hannah Fury, Terami Hirsch, Pepper McGowan, Mary Lydia Ryan, Veda Hille, Jewel, Joni Mitchell

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

She's a woman with a piano, therefore there are the inevitable Tori Amos comparisons and actually there are some similarities to the looser Tori of "Icicle" and "Yes Anastasia" and to Pepper McGowan, particularly in the fierceness of her performance and her ability to use the piano almost against the vocal line [I'm sure there's a technical term for this, but I don't know it, counterpoint?]. She has a high, rich, almost harsh voice, which she uses to great effect. She has an engaging way of using her lyrics to tell small stories, so you feel you know the people and situations she's singing about. (Neile)

Reba's music is wonderful and everyone should check it out. (meth@smoe.org)

She is so so amazing. (timjy@sbcglobal.net)

Recommended first album:

live at studio 43 for a more stripped-down sound, Seeds From The Twisted Pear for a broader sound palette—both are wonderful.

Recordings:


live at studio 43

Release info:

2001—self-released

Availability:

CDBaby or various San Francisco area outlets

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for lovers of strong women with pianos

Group members:

Reba Hasko—piano, vocals

Comments:

This is a ferocious collection of songs—not because of their topics particularly but because of the power and conviction of Reba Hasko's singing and playing style. It's distinctive and impressive. She can be tender, too, in such songs as "i'm for you". On the first few songs ("w.b.l.", "crimson", "the glamouratti") her lyrics and the construction of the tunes here are a little like as cross between early Tori Amos and early Veda Hille, while "i'm for you" reminds me of some of Jewel's better love songs, and other bits of songs remind me of Jewel's storytelling abilities. Later tracks have hints of Joni Mitchell and Tori Amos again. I don't mean by these comparisons that Reba Hasko is copying these artists, but rather that she has learned from these influences how to create her own distinctive music—once you've really listened to this album you couldn't mistake her work for theirs at all.
     This is a powerful album that is sure to win her fans amongst ectophiles. I highly recommend it. (Neile)

Seeds From The Twisted Pear

Release info:

2006—Art Camp Records

Availability:

See Reba Hasko's site

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

R. Hasko—vocals, all instruments, except below

Guest artists:

Dave Stephens—drums (2)

Produced by:

R. Hasko

Comments:

Inventive in both composition and musically, this is an aurally fascinating album. Dark, beautiful, highly evocative, it even tops the power of her debut. It sweeps you away into a different emotional world, and because of this it's a little difficult to describe—I just want to tell everyone to give it a listen. It's amazing. (Neile)

After loving her live album on emusic, I ordered Reba Hasko's studio shindig Seeds from a Twisted Pear from CDBaby, and it's absolutely utterly mind-blowingly fantastic. If the ink hadn't already thoroughly dried on my best of 2006, this would probably be near the top. (timjy@sbcglobal.net)

Among the best of 2006. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)


Delicate Cyclone

Release info:

2013

Availability:

See Reba Hasko's site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Reba Hasko—vocals, piano, drums, Wurlitzer, boots, keyboards, percussion

Guest artists:

Devin Greenwood—vocals (2); cymbols (2); xylophone (2); glass (3); Hammond B3 (4, 7); Wurlitzer (4, 7); percussion (7); drums (8)

Produced by:

Devin Greenwood and Reba Hasko

Comments:

The one just didn't grab me as much as the two previous releases. There are so many elements I love in it—it's full of gorgeous and powerful moments—but my ears prefer songs with a stronger sense of form. Where songs on the previous albums wandered, the wandering felt more intentional and nuanced than on these tracks. That said, "Golden Iris" is truly gorgeous, and its open, repetitive structure clearly echos the song's emotion. "Bloody knuckles" is another track tahat draws me in. I also like "The Stallions" a lot, but toward the end it loses me. I hate to ever say I prefer artists to be conventional, but this is a good example of where the artist went a little farther than my personal tastes could follow. I still look forward to whatever she does next and hit repeat on "Golden Iris." Damn, I love that track. (Neile

...Delicate Cyclone, which I totally respect as an artistic endeavor but have a really hard time listening to. (timjy@sbcglobal.net)


Further info:

Write: Reba Hasko, Simon-Dach Strasse 22, Stflgl. R 4 O.G., 10245 Berlin, DE. Phone: (030) 978.852.84. Email reba_hasko @ yahoo . com

Contact: Steph Hillier, Artist Management & Sound Consultancy, www.myspace.com/stephhillier.


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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

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