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Hod And the Helpers Release New Album “The Optimist” | Album Feature

May 23, 2020

Hod And the Helpers Release New Album “The Optimist”

Out May 15th

What better time in the current climate, then to discover an act that can sonically lift you, a bold act that can captivate their audience and transport them through their orchestrations to a totally new and surreal world within their unique atmosphere. Introducing Hod And The Helpers, the Santa Cruz, CA alt-folk collective of singer/songwriter Hod Hulphers– who has just released a 12 track album which you NEED to hear.

Their lovely, 1970s-sounding songs – owing as much to the intimacy of Will Oldham as Randy Newman’s smart-ass character studies – ask the listener to pay attention to their simplest activities, relishing their chores as if they are free time. There’s an empathetic pathos to their music, a self-conscious bitterness rare in modern songwriting.

Hod and the Helpers began in 2013, when pianist AJ Marquez approached Hulphers about working together. From there, the group continued to expand beyond Hulphers’ erstwhile solo project And Hod, featuring the talents of the Helpers – AJ Marquez, Dan Potthast, Greg Braithwaite, Matt Porter and Jeff Stultz.

Now, the collective can celebrate their latest achievement together.


  1. The Optimist
  2. Goodbye Subtlety
  3. In Disguise
  4. Broken Windows
  5. Modern Art
  6. Biff’s Bats
  7. Millions of Guys
  8. Biscuits For The Queen
  9. Too Many People
  10. The Forest
  11. 11.Good News Admissions
  12. Coda

The Optimist, is a profound and enlightening must-hear. A wild yet affectionate collection of tentative yet rapacious arrangements. The progressive journey captured within these talented musicians’ craft is richly ambitious.

The expansive album covers such depth, groove-driven, melody-heavy tracks which range from quick-paced gritty shorter numbers such as Goodbye Subtlety, to epic and heavenly powerful anthemic pieces which features gaudy percussion, repetitive keys and soaring, powerful vocals such as Modern Art.

The group’s meticulous attention to detail, shared passions and care for their craft has created an album that will no doubt stand the test of time. A simply vivacious and refreshing listen. The stunning rock creations flow in all directions. Whether the harrowing vocals which soar throughout keep you engaged or the sublime fusion of subtle acoustic guitars to driving electric guitar rhythms. The collections of intricate musical deliverance with the bold brass aura and bountiful beats gripping the divine instrumentation, you are always immersed in soulful alt-folk rock.

The Optimistic in its entirety is a finely crafted record that deftly merges genres. It stands as one of the great alt-rock albums to emerge from the US this decade.



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