Old Zodiac Drawing

The Joy of Hex

VAST HALOS is the follow-up to last year's popular debut album from Hex. VAST HALOS finds Hex delving further into the complex textures and rhythms that made their first album so enchanting and carried it deep into the alternative radio charts. Both albums are now available on Rykodisc in conjunction with the First Warning label.

Hex is Donnette Thayer and Steve Kilbey (of The Church). "Pounding, shaking and apple eating" sounds are provide by Jim McGrath. Thayer was a singer, guitarist, and songwriter in the extremely underrated Northern California pop combo Game Theory. She toured extensively with the band and played on their two most recent albums LOLITA NATION and TWO STEPS FROM THE MIDDLES AGES before leaving to form Hex in 1989. The Thayer family from which Donnette is descended includes the first "witch" ever executed in Salem (home of Rykodisc!).

Steve Kilbey, leader of Australian rock phenomenon The Church, collaborates with Thayer for the second time on VAST HALOS. The characteristic elegance that marks Kilbey's solo work (he's released several albums of his own) is very much in evidence in his work with Hex. The musical tension and spiritual chemistry between Kilbey and Thayer lends Hex an indescribable beauty. Thayer revealed, "We began with eastern musical orientation, gradually introducing the western rock and roll thing...swirling together into one universal idea."

Vast Halos was recorded this year in Los Angeles. During one of the sessions, the ciy was rocked by an earthquake, leaving the musicians more than a little shaken up. Despite geological disturbances, the duo produced a consistently intriguing album, from the chilling choral coda of "Hollywood in Winter" to the Phil Spector-esque production of "Shelter"; from the smokey jazz of "Hell" to the pizzicato strings of "Aquamarine." "March," the first single, is a pristine example of what makes Hex so spellbinding. VAST HALOS is an auspicious sophomore effort which should establish Hex as a musical force in the 90s.

"Candlelight, mist and the dusk of dreams are the fine threads woven magically by the silken voice of Donnette Thayer." -- Fad magazine Nov.'89.

September 28, 1990