Listening to psychedelic folk act Hurricanes of Love, one wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Frank Hurricane (nÃ© Frank Copenhaver), main man and sole consistent bandmember, is truly inspired by the natural world. â€œWell, [when] I lived in Johnson Shitty [sic], TN; there isn’t really much to do there besides go hiking,â€ says Hurricane. â€œSo, I went hiking every day for three years or something like that. The music that I play is inspired by the mountains, the sound that I hear in the mountains. And that was that period, and now the music that I play is from the mountains and also from the holy city.â€
The Mecca that Hurricane is referring toâ€”stop the magnifying glassâ€”is Queens, NY. Hurricane has been itinerant for much of his life, so his brand of â€œNew American Primitiveâ€ finger-picking folk guitar seems an unlikely fit for urban environs, but it is so.
â€œIt’s opened my eyes to so much more beauty in life, of every sort. I think it makes the music much more diverse and even more spiritual.â€
The songs of Hurricanes of Love are a great deal like the conversational speech of Hurricane himself, he of the gregarious and endlessly positive character. They are peppered with praise for the spiritual qualities of his surroundings and embody the flowing, in-the-moment mind’s eye of the truly psychedelic.
Hurricane is embarking on a two-month tour with Invisible Circle, the drone-heavy solo project of oboist Dave Kadden. Invisible Circle serves to offer musical tribute to the early days of modern drone (most significantly minimalist godhead La Monte Young), although Kadden’s studies in the style are true-blue; he began the project following an observant voyage through Southeast Asia.
â€œI’d just come back to New York from my travels, and I was on my buddy’s couch for a few weeks,â€ he says. â€œI started drinking lots and lots of coffee in the morning when I woke up, and playing music. I had a little keyboard, a Casio SK-1, [and] I had this amp that I’d had since high school. I started messing around with it, and I found this one setting that got super-crazy rich tone using the octave double with delay and certain distortion, and I was getting these crazy patterns. So, I started turning up really loud to really hear those patterns.â€
Kadden will be taking a break from his near-constant gigging as a key member of Brooklyn’s burgeoning hippie-punk community for the tour. The two-man trip marks the release of a split LP between the two acts. â€œIt was Dave’s idea,â€ says Hurricane. â€œHe knew that I was gonna put out this record, and he said, ‘I want to do the same thing. Why don’t we get together and put out a record together, and go on the most holy journey of all time together?’ And I said, ‘Are you kidding me? That sounds like the best idea I’ve ever heard.’â€
Hurricane, who was living in Marietta, GA at the time, was extended an invitation he couldn’t pass on. â€œ[Kadden] said, ‘You can come and stay with me at my house for a month and record this album, and see how you like New York City and just chill.’ And about three days after I got here, I realized I never want to leave this place ever again other than to go on tour. This is the coolest place in the world right here. I owe a lot to my holy bro for introducing me to it.â€
While Kadden’s music is loudâ€”often stunningly soâ€”and Hurricane’s is living room-intimate, the two find commonalities beyond their friendship. â€œWe both play folk music,â€ insists Kadden. â€œIn my mind, I feel like I play folk music. My influences are far and wide, but certainly Indian folk music and all of that is drone music, and I just turn up a little louder than Frank does. Also, the mountains. We’re both really heavily influenced by mountains.â€
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