Hat Check Girl—Kiss Me Quick

2020, Gallway Bay Music


You would think they would be running dry with all of their recent output, but they just keep getting better. Hat Check Girl, Peter Gallway and Annie Gallup, make lots of music, some solo, some with others, but most wonderfully together. They take turns writing songs, taking lead vocals, and are outstanding on multiple instruments. They seem to be in complete agreement about their style, intense yet unhurried and quiet, poetic as they enjoy each other in deep partnership. The songs are populated and cinematic, with stories they have heard and things they have felt. “My Dream Last Night” written by Peter from a comment by Annie, features duet interplay, quite literally showing them to be a couple who finish each other’s sentences! The same can be said for the way Annie’s pedal steel and Peter’s guitar compliment each other. They craft their songs, lyrics creating and flowing through melody and rhythm. The production provides the space for their virtuosity, as they sing snapshots in lines that stay with you. In “Everybody Dance And Sing,” a song about a successful touring duo Annie sings, “The third and fourth martinis / smell like a first aid kit.” In “How Far Will You Go” Annie sings, “Eyes like a wolf and the colors don’t match/ Why would he drink himself under the table/ straight from the bottle that has a skull with an eyepatch?” then Peter sings, “I like the label.” “Earl Had The Night Shift,” a song about a parking lot worker who “Had something in his pocket made you slip away,” appropriately has a Tom Waits vibe in the rhythm section. Although they have moved from coast to coast, “Moving West” is not exactly their story, but there is something knowing about, “Take the 10-cent goldfish, the credit card and a couple hundred bucks.” “He Loved Horses” is impossible to get out of your head, but why would you want to? The song is as beautiful as the title suggests. “Kiss Me Quick” is a jazzy opposites attract duet. His words are cynical, hers reveal craving for what is not good for her, both maybe not quite understanding themselves. As notes for the album coyly state, “Almost a love song.” If you want more than a peck on the cheek from your music, Kiss Me Quick is for you!—Michael Devlin

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