The Prophet Hens return for a 2nd album. “The Wonderful Shapes of Back Door Keys”, delivers on the tuneful jangly promise of their debut album “Popular People Do Popular People”.
US music blog The Finest Kiss described their popular debut as “Chills meets Belle And Sebastian pop alchemy” before saying “The Prophet Hens may be better than both” and making it their #2 album of the year for 2013.
The Prophet Hens‘ second album is melodic jangling guitars, swirling Casio keyboards & the voices of Penelope Esplin and Karl Bray singing upliftingly melancholic songs about hope & despair, joy & regret, ambition & reality, coming together & drifting apart.
Ringing the changes on album #2 is the addition of bassist Robin Cederman’s adventurous songwriting, on which keyboard player Penelope Esplin takes lead vocals. Robin’s songs complement Karl Bray’s minor key pop numbers, which manage to be both melancholic and exuberant at the same time. Their teasing guitar intros, jangling chord progressions, woven through swirling fairground keyboards and reflective lyrics, indicate he’s as much in thrall of the chiming guitar of classic UK jangle pop and early REM as he is of any local Dunedin forebears.
The Prophet Hens may have formed as the result of an accident but the “pop alchemy” progress on their second album leaves nothing to chance.
“The Wonderful Shapes of Back Door Keys” by The Prophet Hens was released by Fishrider Records (NZ) & Occultation Recordings (UK) in August 2016, along with a very limited LP edition of their debut.