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Album Premiere: Hejira – Prayer Before Birth

Born from a two-year stint of rigorous recording and writing in their south London studio, the ‘House of Dreams’, Hejira‘s debut full-length, Prayer Before Birth, rings out with all the clarity and concision you’d expect from a band who, as individuals, have racked up a rather impressive resumé collaborating with Tom Jones, Amy Winehouse and Connan Mockasin. It’s a record that oozes atmosphere; post-rock dynamics, orchestral scope and an underpinning, primal urgency that never fails to grip.

Across its 1-hour running time, Prayer Before Birth racks up countless moments of headphone brilliance – perhaps unsurprising given that it was co-produced by Matthew Herbert. From the chiming, bell tower guitars, pristine harmonies and mechanical locomotion of opener ‘Litmus Test’ to the tinker toy clockwork of ‘Gypsy of the Soul’ and on to the unsheathed expanses and swathes of tyrannical brass that form ‘Powercut’, there’s a whole world to lose yourself in here; one made up of backstreet trysts, dissidents slipping off into the night and ships setting sail by starlight.

Below, you can stream the London collective’s Prayer Before Birth in full:

And, here’s a selection of images from the creation of Prayer Before Birth, taken on location at the ‘House of Dreams’:

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- Alex Cull

Photo credits: Jonny Cochrane, Alice Rainis.

Prayer Before Birth is available now on Matthew Herbert’s Accidental imprint. You can buy it here.

Hejira will be playing the album in full at the Clapton Round Chapel in Hackney on October 31 accompanied by an 18-piece ensemble including a choir and trombone section. Tickets are available here.



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