Herman Dune’s latest single premieres right here on Americana UK. It’s the third single from upcoming album ‘Notes from Vinegar Hill’, which comes twenty years after David Ivar first began releasing music as Herman Dune in Paris. Back when singing in English was unfashionable, Ivar set up an open-mic night at The Pop In, Rue Amelot near La Bastillet, where he had a DJ set and songs in English – country, folk and R & B – were shared and celebrated. He’s come a long way since then.
After three movie soundtracks, three Herman Dune albums, setting up a record label (Santa Cruz Records) and long periods on the road across Europe and the USA, Ivar settled in Los Angeles, where he’s been living for the last five years. The new album was written and recorded in Vinegar Hill, a working class neighbourhood in San Pedro, an area well-known for Californian punk rock, the poet Charles Bukowski and union leader and songwriter Joe Hill.
The beauty and cultural history of the area have inspired Ivar to record an adventurous, exciting album, blending various styles and instruments. ‘Ballad of Herman Dune’ is great example of what the album will offer. He explains how it came about: “I wrote this ballad with a simple finger picking style, a sort of folksy ballad. Later in the studio, while sampling my drums and playing upright bass, it took on a completely different groove. It’s one of these songs that come to me when I’m driving, and notes and ideas pop into my mind for lyrics and melody. I’m trying to memorize the image or the rhyme, while trying to keep up with the cars of Los Angeles. Ultimately it’s better to pull over and write it down.”
Absorb the smart lyrics and tap your feet to this is an enjoyable slice of Herman Dune.