Sweet Like Honey, Sharp Like Knife

Listen to Honeycut on Rhapsody and/or MySpace...

By: Chris Pacifico

They don't call it soul music for nothing. Along with its sister genre, R&B, and its carousing cousin, funk, soul touches you down inside and makes you feel good. It's just that simple. San Francisco trio Honeycut throws all of that in the pot and adds a dark, icy element that produces a danceable, opaque vibe that gives listeners goose bumps.

"For me, it's soul music. It soothes your soul. If people ask what the vibe is then I say it's darker," says keyboardist RV Salters, one third of the equation with Tony Sevener on drum machine duties and the frisky tension of singer Bart Davenport. Honeycut met through mutual friends at a day job that "involved musicality" as Salters puts it. Eventually, they began casually jamming to see what would come out of it when lo and behold; they were inked to Quannum Projects and released their first album, The Day I Turned to Glass this past fall.

Honeycut by Michael Alan Goldberg
The album was recorded at their home save for the live strings and horns. "It was a very gradual process. We really started about three years ago by just kind of throwing ideas down but we were all busy doing other stuff, so it was kind of a casual thing for us to be working on Honeycut just kind of on and off," reminisces Salters. "We'd just be reconvening, working on a beat and then the next time, around a month later maybe, Bart would come back with some lyrics for a track and we'd talk about it, track it and see where it went. It may explain why there is this thing to the record, that people tell us anyway, that's kind of hard to describe. But, at the same time, it's easy to latch onto. When you have time to work on something and expand on new ideas that are not necessarily done according to blueprint then you got time to experiment, and you have time to take a little perspective and go back to the track and make sure that it's something you can whistle in the shower".

The rather deconstructed song writing process ultimately made the album what it is. Salters determined the overall riffs and chord progressions while Sevener molded the rough drum patterns and Davenport penned the lyrics. "We each take the song and take it home, work on our part, then share it with the others. At one point we all kind of put everything in the pot and stir it together," says Salters.

The Day I Turned to Glass could be described as "funk noir," which retains the cool, suave manner of Prince but also channels the bumping beats of hip-hop, a murky peppering of ambient down-tempo and a shadowy, uncouth cinematic shell which Salters attributes to his being a "huge fan" of soundtracks, citing a laundry list of names like John Barry, Nino Rota, Ennio Morricone, Lalo Schifrin and Jerry Goldsmith.

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