New Noise Magazine is pleased to be bringing forth the premiere of “Bone Dry” by Hebdo. The song has a lot of ambience to it thanks to the swelling string section behind the gritty acoustic guitar. The vocals add to the melodious encounter, giving the song plenty of space and atmosphere.
“‘Bone Dry’ is an acoustically washy, orchestral soundscape bathed in heavily reflective lyrics, leaving the narrator more uplifted than weighed down. It’s new sonic ground for me, with a torch burnt to the gods of folk.” – Hebdo
Hebdo is an artist caught between two worlds. You’d sooner find his brand of indie rock-meets-vintage Americana grit emanating from a porch in Austin, Texas than his hometown of Columbus, Ohio. In an era when digital streaming is king, Hebdo crafts a sonic experience seemingly intended for vinyl. And buttressing his sprawling, diverse catalog with foot-stomping sing-alongs and a discerning ear for instrumentation, Hebdo’s live performance is equally enigmatic: whether a one-man-band or a seven-piece ensemble– rhythm section, horns, and all.
Singer-songwriter (Joseph) Hebdo does not compromise– he commits. Replete with masterful hooks, Hebdo’s music, all of which he produces himself, glows with a sonic warmth and intimacy reminiscent of Paul McCartney and Dr. Dog, while his writing and delivery reveal years under the influence of Beck and Andrew Bird.
Hebdo’s defiance of simple categorization is perhaps best exemplified in the concoction of his own genre, dubbed “Adventure-Folk”. The moniker suits not only his adventurous spirit and the physical terrain he’s charted in his artistic journey, from Lebanese roots to longtime residencies in Appalachia and tours across Italy, but also the vast musical territory covered in the four EPs and two LPs he has released to date. The constant threads in his music are unshakeable choruses, the welcoming croon of his wholesome layered vocals, and plucks of his acoustic guitar, which oscillates across his releases from a riff-heavy centerpiece on records like 2015’s Keep ‘em Tgthr LP to a supporting character amid a collage of snare rattles, brass, and distorted electric guitars on others, like 2014’s Double Tambo EP.
His process tends to be one of solitude, building songs alone in the studio and experimenting endlessly before bringing in musicians to flesh out the recordings and add finishing touches. But his forthcoming singles, like the first– titled “Go Back Home” out December 7– were tracked live with a full band in a single session in the Appalachian Hills of Athens, OH. Engineered by Josh Antonuccio at 3 Elliott studio, these songs “really came from an organic, swampy place,” reflects Hebdo. “They represent a darker, more rock n’ roll dimension compared to my past releases. The more communal process embraced on these recordings reveals itself in darker melodies and a looser, more spacious soundscape.”
Hebdo marries anachronistic compositions with intensely conceptual and sophisticated visuals. His finely executed music videos imbue his soundtrack of dust-blown analog grit with a sleek cinematic luster, picking up Toronto film fest awards for both “Sailor” and “Rumors.”. Visuals aside, Hebdo has also struck a chord with Midwest radio audiences. His single “Where Else” was voted #1 song and received extensive airplay on Columbus’s WWCD 102.5.