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Devin Hoff Releases New Song “Go Your Way” with Sharon Van Etten

September 19, 2021

Devin Hoff Releases New Song “Go Your Way” with Sharon Van Etten

Voices From The Empty Moor (Songs of Anne Briggs)
out 12th November 2021 on Kill Rock Stars

Interpreting the music of Anne Briggs, with:
Sharon Van Etten
Julia Holter (courtesy of Domino Records)
Howard Wiley Shannon Lay (courtesy of SubPop)
Alejandro Farha
Emmett Kelly
Jim White
(in order of appearance)

Bassist, composer and arranger, Devin Hoff has been studying the music of Anne Briggs for over a decade, transcribing, practicing, arranging and performing songs from her recorded output. Briggs was a leading light of the 1960’s English folk scene, a gifted song-writer and improvisor, as well as an amateur musicologist who revived traditional English, Scottish, and Irish Traveler songs with an unpretentious approach that perhaps presaged the rebellion of punk as much as it honoured tradition. 

This record is an appreciation of Briggs’ extraordinarily transcendent music, more than a tribute to a persona. Now, Hoff is sharing the second single from the record, “Go Your Way” featuring Sharon Van Etten.

Hoff states: “’Go Your Way’ is the Anne Briggs song that I first fell in love with, and I think I am not alone in that. There is an enigmatic beauty in the melody that highlights the sadness of the lyrics, yet seems to offer a counter-narrative at the same time. This is how I approached the simple bass and voice arrangement I made for the inimitable Sharon Van Etten to sing on. Maybe there is something beautiful in being left behind, yet having the capacity to hope that at least the one who left is finding joy in their own freedom? Sometimes allowing for that autonomy is the best we can do for one another.”

This collaborative force offers this spell-binding journey. This sublime ambiance grows with sincerity as the exploration flows and Sharon’s stunning vocal harmonies bring this emotional depth to the vast and consuming creation. A rich yet jagged world awaits, filled with the brash and burning intensity from the strings which sculpt the dramatic atmosphere whilst the harmonic vocal tones elongate and build their own immersive influence.

The composer challenges the composition with this complex emotive attachment. The audience embraces this wide range of emotions resonating from the notes and the twisting journey you embark on from start to finish.

Album pre-order & smart link for “Go Your Way” HERE

Devin Hoff has been active in international creative music circles for decades, performing and recording Solo Bass music as well with a wide range of artists. In addition to the talent assembled on this album, Hoff has collaborated with legendary iconoclasts such as Yoko Ono and Amiri Baraka, virtuoso instrumentalists Nels Cline, Vijay Iyer, Ben Goldberg and Ava Mendoza, underground heroes Cibo Matto, Jewlia Eisenberg, and Carla Bozulich, and punk rock legends, Mike Watt, Kira Roessler, and Bill Stevenson among many others. 

The arrangements on Voices From The Empty Moor include collaborations with musician friends that share a fascination with mining specific folk forms for universal and timeless truths, set against multi-tracked bass choirs, solo upright bass retellings of Briggs’ a capella songs that transcend the limitations of instrument and genre.

Hoff has recorded and performed previously with most of the musicians on this record: he befriended Julia Holter, Shannon Lay, and Sharon Van Etten through playing bass for their own projects, oud player Alejandro Farha and saxophonist Howard Wiley are old friends and long term cohorts. Emmett Kelly and Jim White are more recent collaborators.

Last month, Devin released the first single “Let No Man Steal Your Thyme” featuring Julia Holter.

Hoff says, “Voices From the Empty Moor reflects my continued engagement with the musical world opened up to me by the early recordings of Anne Briggs. It is not a folk music record, and makes no claims to any historical or cultural traditions other than those brought by the individual musicians involved. And it is not a tribute to a persona as much as an appreciation of music through music. 

The process of making this record was about striving to maintain a sense of self and connection amidst loss and tragedy, such as I and too many others have experienced recently. Elegies performed on the double bass bookend seven necessarily remote collaborations with musicians that I admire and count as friends. Roughly half of the songs are sung by singers, the others are ‘sung’ on the double bass, oud, saxophone, and drum set.”

Voices From the Empty Moor seeks to honour the mystery and beauty of Anne Briggs’ music while maintaining its own unique perspective, foregrounding powerful emotion and magical transformation.

Tracklisting for Voices From The Empty Moor:
1. She Moved Through the Fair
(trad. arranged by D. Hoff; basses-D. Hoff)
2. Go Your Way
(words and music-Anne Briggs; vocals-Sharon van Etten; basses-D. Hoff)
3. Let No Man Steal Your Thyme
(trad. arranged by D. Hoff; vocals-Julia Holter; basses-D. Hoff)
4. Maa Bonny Lad
(trad. arranged by D. Hoff; saxophone-Howard Wiley; basses-D. Hoff)
5. Living By the Water
(words and music-Anne Briggs; vocals-Shannon Lay; basses-D. Hoff)
6. The Snow It Melts the Soonest/My Bonny Boy
(trad. arranged by D. Hoff; oud-Alejandro Farha; bass-D. Hoff)
7. Black Waterside 
(trad. arranged by D. Hoff; vocals-Emmett Kelly; basses-D. Hoff)
8. Willie O’ Winsbury
(trad. arranged by D. Hoff; drums-Jim White; guitar and basses-D. Hoff)
9. The Lowlands
(trad. arranged by D. Hoff; bass-D. Hoff)

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