Hermitofthewoods Land of the Lotus Eaters

Hermitofthewoods Land of the Lotus Eaters
9
With two self-produced albums behind him — his second, Love's Dark Season, was named one of the best local albums of 2009 by Halifax's The Coast magazine — Hermitofthewoods teams with producer Scott Da Ros for his third outing, and it's a fantastic match. Da Ros's unorthodox production — a hybrid of hip-hop, electronic music influences, glitch and white noise — holds the entire project together, offering a surprisingly unified sound to a varied album that opens with atmospheric, spacey instrumental "Once Upon A Time," which leads into nu-funk party jam "Last Call" and is followed over the rest of the album by everything in between. This diversity is necessary, as Hermitofthewoods changes his delivery from rap to spoken word to singing; his Johnny Cash-style warbling, accompanied by the beautiful voice of Breagh Potter for "Give Us Time," is an early album highlight. Drawing inspiration from Greek mythology — the title is a reference to an island where the natives survived off the fruit and flowers of the narcotic lotus plant, which caused them to peacefully sleep in apathy — Hermitofthewoods depicts a dystopian world not so very different from our own, one where fantasy obscures reality and most people are asleep. It's a dark offering, sure, but on "Last Call," he states, "We kicked its ass once before" and nearly every other song ultimately offers hope. Creative hip-hop that is sonically sound and lyrically looks to create a better future is rare, but Hermitofthewoods and Scott Da Ros have accomplished just that with Land of the Lotus Eaters. And they've done it well. (Endemik)