Hemhora and the Glass Band is a new project out of Batavia, IL, USA consisting of Chris Otepka, Steven Mitchell, Dylan Dresch, and Brad Showalter. Otepka and Mitchell have been writing and preforming music together for almost 10 years in the bands The Heligoats and Hungry Mountain; in that time the two have recorded a combined total of 7 albums and have toured the US and Europe multiple times. For this release, Helix Pattern Blues, the duo have teamed up with Dylan Dresch (Hungry Mountain) and added Brad Showalter (Kiwi Audio) on drums and percussion. Mitchell wrote the music and Otepka provided the words. Recorded, mixed, mastered in 78 hours at Kiwi Audio in Batavia, IL, by Showalter and Jarrett Pryzgoda.

Otepka’s words are shaky and monotone—it sets the stage with feelings of suffering and urgency. The rhythmic pumping of the beat is almost a mirrored reflection of the Otepka’s heart. It begins rhythmic and set in its pace, but suddenly builds adding excitement and anxious energy to the track before crashing into chaos in the outro.

The Glass Band is a conglomeration of musicians that have been backing Otepka as The Heligoats, as well as other bands & musicians like Hungry Mountain and Hemhora. Now an entity themselves, it has formed nicely in the two years following Otepka’s return to the midwest, after living in Washington for 10 years. The band is made up of the revolving members of The Heligoats, related Chicago area projects, and friends. Now formally formed as a collective entity, they are the backing band for several upcoming projects written by members of the band, including this Hemhora EP, an upcoming Heligoats album, and several others, including a planned stand alone Glass Band release of music, written by the various members and contributors in collaboration.

Photo: Jess Price

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