David Hopkins drops a new album, called Overlook, April 20. Hopkins says, “Overlook is the most honest record I have made to date. I had always worked on albums where I had to compromise. I did whatever I wanted to do with this album.”
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Hopkins was part of the Dublin band LiR, and then took a break from the world of music, moving to New York. In New York he got a “real job” working at a famous restaurant, where, after three days, he was fired for throwing cutlery at the chef. So he went back to music.
Hopkins worked alongside The Who, during their Quadrophenia Tour, and then with Damien Rice on his There Are Debts album. In 2014, he joined Bombay Heavy as the front man, going by the name of Barnabus Wu. Then he hooked up with Mark Stoermer of The Killers, collaborating on Dark Arts and Filthy Apes and Lions. Stoermer went on to function as executive producer on Overlook, which is being released on Stoermer’s indie label, St. August Records.
Encompassing ten tracks, Overlook opens with “A Small German,” a melodious neo-classical number of stellar quality. “C’est La” rides a psychedelic-flavored soundscape rife with baroque progressive rock filaments.
Other excellent tracks include “When I Do It With You,” a pop-flavored R&B number that’s delightfully hard to describe because it’s so different, yet elusively familiar. “The Spirit Song” reflects a Zeppelin-esque glow, without the muscular edginess of Led Zeppelin.
One of my personal favorites is “Irresponsible,” with its Latin-lite rhythm and dream-pop ambiance. It’s a cool, sensuous tune reminiscent of Sade and Talking Heads. “God & Gabriel” offers a distinctively British essence, reminding me of The Kinks covering the Electric Light Orchestra.
The album closes with “A Smaller German,” featuring a gorgeous French horn, as well as an elegant acoustic guitar.
Overlook is scrumptiously innovative and imaginative, full of intersecting colors and flavors. It’s an album that has to be heard to be appreciated. Feeble words and meager attempts at description can’t do it justice. It’s that good.