1-2 Weeks
H'Art Songs

KD 330160CD KD 330160CD

2013 restock. This is Kopf Records' 1999 CD reissue of Moondog's H'art Songs, originally released in Germany in 1978. In 1974, New York City's famous "Viking Of Sixth Avenue" travelled to Europe to produce a concert of his works with the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra. Afterwards, Moondog (Louis Thomas Hardin, 1916-1999), who once told an interviewer that he considered himself a "European in exile," felt compelled to stay on the continent in order to realize the imagined European identity he invoked with his clothing and music. Moondog felt culturally and artistically closer to Europe and it was here where he spent the rest of his life, developing some of the most unique and surprising, if not lesser known developments in his vast body of work. H'art Songs is one anomaly in the composer's output during this period, as each of the songs are considerably traditional in form with a sing-song, almost pop-oriented mentality. All the songs consist of Moondog singing to minimal, catchy piano accompaniments and occasional percussion. Moondog sings with a quavering sincerity in his voice that recalls Robert Wyatt while the pathos and humor in the lyrics to songs like "Enough About Human Rights" ("What about hog rights?/What about frog rights?") and "I'm Just A Hop Head" ("...and so I'll be, till I'm dead/I started hopping when first I hopped into bed") suggests the innocent despair of Daniel Johnston. The simplicity in these songs, however, is misleading, as the repetitive melodies are blessed with subtle chord structures that gradually take on an epic, even otherworldly, feel. This singular quirkiness and radiant uniqueness in approach makes this music distinctly Moondog. Highly accessible yet criminally overlooked, H'Art Songs' music reveals a fascinating stage in Moondog's artistic development, blessed with the understated beauty that makes his work so timeless.