Half Film

Half Film“Low-key underground guitar atmos that’s very moody indeed… Stark like Joy Division and darkly melodic like Neil Young”Melody Maker

Before [The] Caseworker, Conor and Eimer Devlin fronted slowcore trio Half Film, whose two acclaimed albums – East of Monument and The Road to the Crater – are now lovingly reissued by Hidden Shoal.

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Discography

The Road To The Crater


October 2012

Before releasing music on Hidden Shoal as [The] Caseworker, Conor and Eimer Devlin, along with drummer Jason Lakis, made up slowcore trio Half Film. Their two acclaimed albums – East of Monument and The Road to the Crater – are now lovingly reissued by Hidden Shoal. With a sound mapped out so definitively, it’s difficult not to immerse yourself completely in this music’s shadowy topography.

Right from East of Monument’s languid opener ‘Weather Patterns’, it’s clear there’s a deliberate, measured and deeply rewarding melodic map unfolding, akin to classic releases by Codeine and Low. This aesthetic is explored, refined and distilled across the two records, and by the time The Road to the Crater’s finale ‘Themselves’ has played out, the special pocket of indie-rock that Half Film inhabited completely in the late ’90s has been revealed anew.

East of Monument


October 2012

Before releasing music on Hidden Shoal as [The] Caseworker, Conor and Eimer Devlin, along with drummer Jason Lakis, made up slowcore trio Half Film. Their two acclaimed albums – East of Monument and The Road to the Crater – are now lovingly reissued by Hidden Shoal. With a sound mapped out so definitively, it’s difficult not to immerse yourself completely in this music’s shadowy topography.

Right from East of Monument’s languid opener ‘Weather Patterns’, it’s clear there’s a deliberate, measured and deeply rewarding melodic map unfolding, akin to classic releases by Codeine and Low. This aesthetic is explored, refined and distilled across the two records, and by the time The Road to the Crater’s finale ‘Themselves’ has played out, the special pocket of indie-rock that Half Film inhabited completely in the late ’90s has been revealed anew.

Biography

“Here’s how I remember it: Me and Eimer moved to San Francisco in 1995 from the UK. We chose San Francisco because we loved two bands from that city: Swell and American Music Club. We also figured the winters would be kinder than New York.

“Neither of us had been in a band before, or played live, so we were pretty clueless, and in hindsight it was all quite na ve: to just up sticks and head to California with our guitars. We tried out a few drummers but they were all too rock for what we were doing – we were looking for a quiet drummer who could play slow. We got introduced to Jason Lakis at a barbeque; he d been around the SF music scene for a couple of years, and was also a veteran of the east coast thrash metal scene. He was an extremely accomplished musician, but he d no idea how to play drums, so it suited us perfectly when he asked to join our band as the drummer. So that was all three of us kind of learning our instruments together, and the sound and the songs developed from that inexperience. I think we felt our way towards a sound. And I think we somehow wrote memorable songs too. Things after that seemed to happen for us pretty easily: we ran off a demo in the fall of 97 and and sent it out to various labels. Buzz Records in Chicago, who had Idaho on their roster, liked it enough to offer a deal. We recorded the first lp (East of Monument) in San Francisco over a weekend. We seemed to play shows constantly my old diary shows two rehearsals a week and a show every weekend, and often midweek too. We played anywhere and everywhere, up and down the west coast ..we even had our own van ..so we were a busy act…..

“1998 saw the release of the first lp in the spring, the second album taped with Jim Putnam (of the Radar Bros) in LA over the summer, and a 6 week European tour with our idols Swell in the winter. We were happy to work hard, and we all had that specific energy and drive that bands in their 20s have. 1999 was less busy, but the shows kept coming, and the second lp (The Road to the Crater) came out in the summer. We taped a 7inch (The Only Direction is South) for AIP records in late 99 with Monte Vallier (of Swell) and handed that in before Christmas. Then me and Eimer took off for a long 3 month break in Spain in February 2000.

“When we came back, we all kinda threw in the towel. And that was that.

“We did way more than I thought we ever would, and we re all proud of the records. Hey maybe we ll make another one at some point. The important thing to remember is that none of us could play at the start, but we still managed to make records, tour, make a real go of it: the whole thing. Because we wanted to do it. And so we did it.” – Conor Devlin

 

News

  • Eat Your Friends: A Hidden Shoal 10th Anniversary Compilation

    Eat Your FriendsHidden Shoal is excited to end the celebration of its 10th year of existence with the new compilation album Eat Your Friends, comprising remixes and covers of Hidden Shoal artists, by Hidden Shoal artists. This freely downloadable album not only showcases the wealth of original music released through Hidden Shoal, but also the creative ingenuity and deft musical touch of the remixers and cover artists.

    From searing solar-flared adaptations to delicately reconstructed covers, deep space jam reworkings, and shimmering ambient tapestries, Eat Your Friends reimagines the Hidden Shoal discography in new and beautiful ways, playing to all the strengths of the roster’s dizzying array of talent.

    Includes remixes and covers by: Antonymes, Arc Lab, Glanko, Wayne Harriss, Liminal Drifter, Makee, Chloe March, Markus Mehr, Erik Nilsson, REW<<, Slow Dancing Society, Tin Manzano, Willem Gator, and Zealous Chang  of music by: Arc Lab, Brother Earth, Cheekbone, City of Satellites, Medard Fischer, Gilded, Glanko & Daniel Bailey, Kryshe, Memorybell, Erik Nilsson, perth, Slow Dancing Society, Tangled Star, Umpire, and Zealous Chang.

    Eat Your Friends is available now as a free download via Bandcamp and is also streamable via SoundCloud. Listen and then throw yourself into the wormhole as you explore the originals and more work by the remixers and cover artists.  For all the filmmakers, games designers and others in need of engaging music, don’t forget that all tracks in our catalogue are available for licensing (film, tv, games, compilations etc).

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  • Hidden Shoal is 10!

    Hidden ShoalHidden Shoal is extremely excited to be celebrating its 10th birthday this month. It’s hard to believe that back in May 2006, Perth-based musicians Cam Merton, Stuart Medley and Malcolm Riddoch began Hidden Shoal Recordings as a means to put out releases by local artists. Tim Clarke, based in Melbourne, joined the team in 2007. Hidden Shoal has since gone on to become a much-loved independent label and publisher, releasing over 120 albums from a diverse range of international artists and licensing music from its catalogue across film, tv, web and compilation.

    Stay tuned for special anniversary announcements in the coming months!

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  • Half Film At Number 2 in the KBRP CMJ Chart!!!

    The sublime slowcore of Half Film has made a big impact on Arizona’s KBRP. The double album re-issue of the bands  two late 90’s/00’s debut and sophomore releases are sitting at number 2 on the KBRP CMJ chart.

    If you’ve not yet fallen to the charm of East of Monument and The Road To The Crater then head to the Hidden Shoal Store and stream both albums in full to understand why you must own them. The CD release comes as a specially priced double CD with both albums in a double gatefold.

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  • Half Film Reissues are This Week's RTRFM Drivetime Feature Albums!

    Half Film‘s beautiful double album reissue, East of Monument/Road To The Crater, is this week’s RTRFM Drivetime feature album. Not only will you be hearing tracks off the albums all week on RTRFM but Perth listeners will also be able to win a copy every day on the Drivetime program.

    These two late 90′s slowcore masterpieces  are available together as a specially priced double CD and singley in digital formats from the Hidden Shoal Store. All CD orders come with an immediate download of both albums.

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  • Half Film Reissues Out Now on CD and Digital!

    Hidden Shoal Recordings is proud to announce CD and digital availability for the reissue of two late 90’s slowcore masterpieces East of Monument and The Road to the Crater by San Franciscan trio Half Film. Both albums are available together as a specially priced double CD and singley in digital formats. All CD orders come with an immediate download of both albums.

    Before releasing music on Hidden Shoal as [The] Caseworker, Conor and Eimer Devlin, along with drummer Jason Lakis, made up slowcore trio Half Film. Their two acclaimed albums – East of Monument and The Road to the Crater – are now lovingly reissued by Hidden Shoal. With a sound mapped out so definitively, it’s difficult not to immerse yourself completely in this music’s shadowy topography.

    “Low-key underground guitar atmos that’s very moody indeed… Stark like Joy Division and darkly melodic like Neil Young – 4/5”Melody Maker on Half Film’s second album, The Road to the Crater

    Right from East of Monument’s languid opener ‘Weather Patterns’, it’s clear there’s a deliberate, measured and deeply rewarding melodic map unfolding, akin to classic releases by Codeine and Low. This aesthetic is explored, refined and distilled across the two records, and by the time The Road to the Crater’s finale ‘Themselves’ has played out, the special pocket of indie-rock that Half Film inhabited completely in the late ’90s has been revealed anew.

    Head to the Hidden Shoal Store to grab your copy now and stream both albums in full. To get you in the mood the track ‘Machines, Hawks And The Perfect Equation’ is also available fro free download.

    Half Film – ‘Machines, Hawks And The Perfect Equation’

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  • Pre-Orders Available for Slowcore Masters Half Film Double CD Reissue

    Hidden Shoal Recordings is proud to announce CD pre-orders for the reissue of two late 90’s slowcore masterpieces East of Monument and The Road to the Crater by San Franciscan trio Half Film. Both albums will be released as a specially priced double CD and singley in digital format. All CD pre-orders come with an immediate download of both albums. The albums will see official release on 31st of October.

    Before releasing music on Hidden Shoal as [The] Caseworker, Conor and Eimer Devlin, along with drummer Jason Lakis, made up slowcore trio Half Film. Their two acclaimed albums – East of Monument and The Road to the Crater – are now lovingly reissued by Hidden Shoal. With a sound mapped out so definitively, it’s difficult not to immerse yourself completely in this music’s shadowy topography.

    “Low-key underground guitar atmos that’s very moody indeed… Stark like Joy Division and darkly melodic like Neil Young – 4/5”Melody Maker on Half Film’s second album, The Road to the Crater

    Right from East of Monument’s languid opener ‘Weather Patterns’, it’s clear there’s a deliberate, measured and deeply rewarding melodic map unfolding, akin to classic releases by Codeine and Low. This aesthetic is explored, refined and distilled across the two records, and by the time The Road to the Crater’s finale ‘Themselves’ has played out, the special pocket of indie-rock that Half Film inhabited completely in the late ’90s has been revealed anew.

    Head to the Hidden Shoal Store to pre-order your copy now and stream both albums in full.

    Half Film – ‘Coated’

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  • Half Film Love

    Just a quick one to share some deserved love at Some Lost, Some Found for the upcoming Half Film album re-issues,

    “I missed Half Film by just a hair when I arrived in the greater Bay Area in 2000, but they had left a lasting effect on countless moody guitar acts that could be described as the “SlowCore” scene. I picked up their final 7 inch released on AIP Records in 2000, but was never able to acquire their earlier material in a physical format. Thanks to Hidden Shoal Records, now a whole new generation of depressed-sounding bands can see what Half Film was all about…This is highly recommended stuff for anyone who has a Red House Painters or Low record sitting on their shelf. The fact that these guys don’t have the same fan base as those bands shocks me to no end.” – Some Lost, Some Found

    We are damn excited to be able to bring these two amazing albums back into the world and can’t wait to share them with both a new audience and also re-connect with Half Film’s existing fans. The double CD will contain both albums in the one package and will be available for pre-order on the 18th of October with an official release date of October 31st. Don’t forget to download the free single, ‘Machines, Hawks and the Perfect Equation’ from the Hidden Shoal Store while you wait.

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  • New Single From Slowcore Marvels Half Film – Free Download

    Hidden Shoal Recordings is proud to announce the release of free single ‘Machines, Hawks and the Perfect Equation’ by San Franciscan slowcore trio Half Film. The track is lifted from their soon to be reissued sophomore album of 2000, The Road to the Crater. Hidden Shoal is lovingly reissuing Half Film’s two acclaimed albums – East of Monument (1998) and The Road to the Crater (2000) – as a double CD package on 31 October 2012.

    ‘Machines…’ distills the Half Film aesthetic into four minutes of shadowy, see-sawing guitar splendour. The song’s slowburn never yields an easy payoff, the tension becoming its own reward, as the insistent, nagging riff roils beautifully, occasionally flaring into strummed chords before coiling back inside its brittle shell.

    “Low-key underground guitar atmos that’s very moody indeed… Stark like Joy Division and darkly melodic like Neil Young” - Melody Maker on Half Film’s second album, The Road to the Crater

    The history of Half Film began in 1995 when guitarist/vocalist Conor Devlin and bassist Eimer Devlin (now of [The] Caseworker) moved to San Francisco from the UK, based on their love of two bands from that city: Swell and American Music Club. There they were introduced to Jason Lakis. The trio recorded a demo in 1997, which was picked up by Buzz Records in Chicago. East of Monument, their debut album, was recorded in San Francisco over a weekend and released in spring 1998. Second album The Road to the Crater was laid to tape with Jim Putnam (of the Radar Bros) in LA, followed by a six-week European tour with Swell. After Conor and Eimer took a three-month break in Spain in February 2000, all three members decided to call it a day. And that was that.

    ‘Machines, Hawks and the Perfect Equation’ is available for free download from the Hidden Shoal Store. East of Monument and The Road to the Crater are released as a double CD and in digital formats on 31 October, with CD pre-orders available on 18 October.

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  • Hidden Shoal to Reissue Albums by Half Film

    Hidden Shoal is proud to announce the forthcoming reissue of the two acclaimed studio albums by Half Film – the slowcore trio fronted by [The] Caseworker’s Conor and Eimer Devlin – who made dark waves in the US indie circuit in the latter part of the ’90s. East of Monument and The Road to the Crater are released on 18 October, preceded by the release of single ‘Machines, Hawks and the Perfect Equation’ on 6 September.

    “Low-key underground guitar atmos that’s very moody indeed… Stark like Joy Division and darkly melodic like Neil Young” – Melody Maker on Half Film’s second album, The Road to the Crater

    The history of Half Film began in 1995 when guitarist/vocalist Conor Devlin and bassist Eimer Devlin moved to San Francisco from the UK, based on their love of two bands from that city: Swell and American Music Club. There they were introduced to Jason Lakis. All three members of the band learned how to play their respective instruments together, with Half Film’s sound and songs developing from that inexperience.

    The trio recorded a demo in 1997, which was picked up by Buzz Records in Chicago. East of Monument, their debut album, was recorded in San Francisco over a weekend and released in spring 1998. Second album The Road to the Crater was laid to tape with Jim Putnam (of the Radar Bros) in LA, followed by a six-week European tour with Swell. After Conor and Eimer took a three-month break in Spain in February 2000, all three members decided to call it a day. And that was that.

    Single ‘Machines, Hawks and the Perfect Equation’ is released for free download from the Hidden Shoal Store on 6 September. East of Monument and The Road to the Crater are released as a double CD and in digital formats on 31 October, with CD pre-orders available on 18 October.

     

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Reviews

  • Half Film "East Of Monument/The Road To The Crater" Reviewed at The Music

    “This “double album” from Half Film isn’t exactly new music – the trio found themselves caught up in the slowcore scene of the late-‘90s, and after bringing out East Of Monument in 1998 and The Road To The Crater in 1999, they called it a day. Hidden Shoal Recordings have taken it upon themselves to put both albums out, and it’s a gem of slow-burning, understated atmosphere.

    East Of Monument’s eight tracks all run into each other with slight sonic variations of tone and cadence yet all set on the same steady keel. There’s no ebb and flow here; from the brooding Weather Patterns to the ambling undulations of Beaten By A Landslide, the songs invariably remain the same. Even when they break from tradition, they don’t – The Arrangement holds a candle to Slint, albeit without the cathartic violent release, whilst Sortition threatens the quiet/loud dynamic of post-rock to no avail. Yet despite the repetition, the inherent melody is held throughout, a muted nuance held further aloft by guitarist Conor Devlin’s hushed vocals.

    The Road To The Crater doesn’t really break from this formula, instead infusing each song with a stronger personality to stand on their own two feet whilst still intrinsically linked to each other as a whole. The soaring twang of the guitar on Stepless, the slight harmonies of The Mother Of All Distance and the insistent bass underlying Birchwood all add warmth not felt before. And in Machines, Hawks And The Perfect Equation, they’ve crafted a song that rivals anything that Low or Codeine were doing at the same time. A missed gem to be savoured.”

    The Music

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  • Half Film Re-Issues – Some Lost, Some Found

    “I missed Half Film by just a hair when I arrived in the greater Bay Area in 2000, but they had left a lasting effect on countless moody guitar acts that could be described as the “SlowCore” scene. I picked up their final 7 inch released on AIP Records in 2000, but was never able to acquire their earlier material in a physical format. Thanks to Hidden Shoal Records, now a whole new generation of depressed-sounding bands can see what Half Film was all about…This is highly recommended stuff for anyone who has a Red House Painters or Low record sitting on their shelf. The fact that these guys don’t have the same fan base as those bands shocks me to no end.” – Some Lost, Some Found

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  • Half Film "Road To The Crater" – Alternative Press

    “…filled with late-night bedroom ambiance and melodies that reveal themselves like a meticulous unfurled scroll….a fine drive…”Alternative Press

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  • Half Film "Road To The Crater" – Melody Maker

    “Low-key underground guitar atmos that’s very moody indeed… Stark like Joy Division and darkly melodic like Neil Young… 4/5.”Melody Maker

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  • Half Film – SF Weekly

    “Half Film is striking in its simplicity. Its sound — characterized by Devlin’s mechanical, arpeggiated guitar, Hedderman’s keen melodic sense, and Lakis’ understated, often brushed drumming — has been called hypnotic by more than one observer. Atop it all is Devlin’s Irish-accented baritone (both he and Hedderman hail from Dublin), and expressionist lyrics. The band’s newly released sophomore album, The Road to the Crater, is remarkable more for creating space — and the sense of it — than for filling it up. It’s Half Film’s ability to conjure what (Monte) Vallier calls “a mood” that has endeared the band to fans throughout the U.S. and Europe.”SF Weekly

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Artist Photos

 

Music Videos

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Licensing

Half Film’s music is  available for licensing (master & sync cleared) through Hidden Shoal. Please contact us with some basic details about your project and the track(s) you wish to use and we’ll be sure to get back to you straight away.

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