Hot Feet occupy a strange hinterland where the modified blues of Plant and Page dances with the esoteric folk rock of Fairport. Mist is Dust is their second EP ahead of a future album and, if your tongue is firmly in your cheek, ‘world domination’. Structure is subservient to mood and no quarter to immediacy given; three of the five songs here are five minutes plus and require repeated listening before they sink in. Don’t let that put you off.
Early clues that you have to work for your pleasure include Three Black Crosses meandering guitar lines, busily shuffled drums and lyrics like ‘you expect me to pay for your poetry’. Attempting to discern meaning in the music is not helped by the strange and beautiful video for the song available on their website. The song is no less excellent, however; a mix of traditional and contemporary with various time and key changes, held together with Marianne Parrish’s Denny-come-Marling vocal. Without Romance is equally defiant. It has no immediate hook, but a nice melody that increases in tempo towards the end in an extended jam. Both ..Crosses and ..Romance share myriad elements and one constant, a dark unsettling imagery that binds the dissolute influences and reaches beyond to something new.
The same is evident in Divine Silence, perhaps the best song on the EP. It starts with a bass and vocal and builds gently through its first minute to a lovely withdrawn chorus that, having finished, introduces a rollercoaster backing voice and quasi-soul guitar and keys. The arrangement is reminiscent of ELP and there are moments of progressive intent throughout the record. Sedation rests on a simple heartbeat tom rhythm for the majority of its length with the occasional glimpse of stormier skies then bursts into a full band workout towards the end.
Weaving Water is beautiful. The shortest and most accessible song on the EP, Parrish’s voice is a gliding presence above piano and yet more shuffled snare and cymbal splashes. The level of artistry is very high. Special mention must go to Rob Pemberton’s drum work; he covers a lot of kit in every song but the risk that it’s too busy never materialises. It’s sometimes hard to see how it all hangs together, but it does. The overall feel is of adventure, of boundary-pushing and scant regard for the status quo. Mist is Dust is melodic, individual and beautifully rendered. A crack in the space-time continuum has opened and Hot Feet have slipped through unseen; let’s hope they decide to stay.
Review by: Paul Woodgate
Divine Silence is our Song of the Day, the second song to feature from this great EP.
Mist is Dust is Out Now, available via Bandcamp: hotfeet.bandcamp.com/album/mist-is-dust