The New York based Rock/Americana collective, Heathcote Hill, features vocalist Megan Porcaro Herspring, Tom Nelson on guitar and piano, and a bunch of inspired musicians who complete their studio recordings and live performances. Their latest EP, “Save The Ones You Love”, presents the band is at their finest, their most mature, and most creative yet. A compilation of easy-listening organic ballads and mid-tempo compositions so complex in their nature, intensity, emotionally and musically. In a word – stunning. “Save The Ones You Love” demands repeated listening, which age the album like a fine wine, opening up new musical revelations. There’s no other way to say it, this is a masterpiece for our times. I say that without hesitation, because it’s easy to forget in an era of increasingly processed and packaged music that bands like Heathcote Hill still exist.
Sincerely folks, what an outstanding record this is. The vocals are superb throughout, as is the guitar work and the overall musicianship. There isn’t a bad cut on the whole recording, and it is rapidly turning into one of my favorites. This group keep the tradition and fire of classic roots-based music alive.
Every song on “Save The Ones You Love” grabs your soul, takes you on a journey of enchantment and does not release you until you realize the EP is over- at which point you have to then hit the “repeat” button and start the comforting and insatiable cycle all over again.
“Remember You Are Mine” is an achingly beautiful ballad – one of the best new songs in recent memory, in any genre, for me. This track alone repays the cost of the EP. I must have played this song at least a dozen times, straight in row, before moving on, to the sound of rich harmonies, cleanly picked guitars, and surefooted, fast-beating drums, on “Never Change Your Mind”.
But of course it all starts with the slinky title track, “Save The Ones You Love”. This is where your ears and emotions first impact with the resonating tones of Megan Porcaro Herspring’s sublime vocal cords.
Sensual and velvety, but with a tinge of breathy huskiness, Megan’s voice is meant to mesmerize the senses. Something she accomplishes with the utmost precision on “Till These Troubles Pass Through”. Not mentioning Songwriter Tom Nelson on guitar and keys, would be negligent.
His guitar timbres and tones, rig a colorful canvas around Megan’s lead melodies for a match made in heaven. And it is no more evident than on the mid-tempo jangle of “Reckless Love”. Tom’s stunning guitar and Megan’s soulfully expressive voice really bring out the best in each other.
All of which brings us right back to where we started…and that is “Remember You Are Mine”. It is for me, truly the centerpiece of this recording. The soulful simplicity of its sound and delivery, invites contemplation, while the emotional undercurrent informs impeccable craftsmanship.
The blend of grit and delicateness allows Megan Porcaro Herspring to benevolently rule over all of the track with her voice. Heathcote Hill pull in their influences, and let their exceptional taste dictate where the song goes. And it goes someplace beautiful, as does the entire EP!