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A duo whose ambient soundscapes have drawn comparisons to artists like Boards of Canada and Sigur Rós, Hammock formed in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2004. The group was originally conceived by Marc Byrd and Andrew Thompson, former members of the band Common Children. Hammock released their debut full-length, Kenotic, on their eponymous label in 2004; The Sleepover Series, Vol. 1 followed one year later. Hammock's profile was heightened in 2006 during the Winter Olympics when NBC played several of their songs during coverage of the figure-skating competition. Darla signed Hammock later that year, and the band's third album, Raising Your Voice... Trying to Stop an Echo, emerged in November.
Hammock's fourth full-length, Maybe They Will Sing for Us Tomorrow, came out in 2008. The album, which was a studio recording of music written to perform at the overseas debut art exhibition of Jónsi & Alex, found the duo striving for a stripped-down, minimal sound. Released in 2011, the Longest Year EP reflected the trials and tribulations -- including the flooding of Byrd's home -- the band experienced in 2010. In late 2011 they released Asleep in the Downlights, an EP recorded with Steve Kilbey and Tim Powles, both alt-rock veterans and members of Australian band the Church.
The next two Hammock albums, 2012's critically-acclaimed Departure Songs and its 2013 follow-up Oblivion Hymns, saw Byrd and Thompson expanding their palette with a grandiose neo-classical style -- sweeping orchestral arrangements and choral elements -- to great effect. A year later, a reissue of their 2005 Sleepover Series, Vol. 1 LP coincided with the release of a sequel album, Sleepover Series, Vol. 2. 2016's Everything and Nothing paired the swelling crescendos of their later work with their more post-rock, guitar-based approach. In August 2017, Hammock returned with Mysterium, an hour-long conceptual work (and first in a three-album series) composed as a memorial for Clark Kern, a close friend of Byrd's who died in 2016. The second album in the trilogy, Universalis, arrived in 2018. ~ Margaret Reges
- Nashville, TN
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