never heard of him
five good songs on here
just squeaked onto the buy list

Grade - 1.7

released Mar 1st, 2011

from the album - How Would I Know - 2.0

from allmusic


Ari Hest became interested in music while still a teenager growing up in the Bronx. Though he'd taken piano lessons as a child, he taught himself how to play the guitar, mostly by listening to records from his parents' collection (Paul Simon) and alternative radio (Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews). While studying at NYU, Hest hit the East Coast college circuit, performing a mix of covers and his own material. The exposure built him a respectable regional following, which he nurtured with self-released albums in 2001 and 2002 (Coming Home and Story After Story, respectively). Hest signed with Columbia Records in 2003 and issued Someone to Tell a year later. Created with producer David Rolfe, the album was a mix of new and re-recorded material and fit comfortably into the well-appointed adult alternative territory of artists like Josh Kelley and John Mayer. The Green Room Sessions, an EP (on which Hest played all the instruments) recorded and mixed on the popular free program GarageBand, came out in 2006, and was followed the following year by another full-length Columbia release, The Break-In. In 2008 he began recording and releasing a new track on his own subscription service every Monday for an entire year. Fans voted on their favorites, resulting in the release of 2009's appropriately titled Twelve Mondays. Sunset Over Hope Street, his first album for Downtown Records' Mercer Street imprint, was released in 2011.

Album Review

Bronx-born, Brooklyn-based Ari Hest's fourth full-length outing finds the prolific singer/songwriter (in 2008 he recorded and released a new song every Monday for an entire year) treading familiar waters. Introspective, mildly existential, and imbued with the soft, familiar glow of loves won and lost, Hest's rich voice, which cracks in all of the right places, is more than suited for the kind of lush and lonesome midtempo adult alternative balladry that makes up the majority of Sunset Over Hope Street. Falling somewhere between the Wallflowers, Marc Cohen, and Josh Ritter, Hest's folkier side comes through on standout cuts like the heartfelt “Business of America,” the Nick Drake-esque “A Good Look Around,” and the lovely title cut, but it’s the lush and moody opener, “Until Next Time,” that steals the show. Tastefully strewn with hand percussion, weepy strings, and fluttery piano, the song builds from an overcast day into a full-on gale, simultaneously celebrating and lamenting the flawed romance of missed opportunities.

Track Listing

1 Until Next Time Hest 3:35
2 How Would I Know Hest 3:31
3 A Way Back Home Hest 3:30
4 Business of America Hest 2:55
5 One Track Mind Hest 4:12
6 If I Knew You'd Say Yes Hest 2:56
7 Sunset Over Hope Street Hest 3:12
8 Down the Mountain Hest 4:05
9 Give It Time Hest 3:19
10 Swan Song Hest, Wong 4:03
11 A Good Look Around Hest 3:22