HṚṢṬA (pronounced /ˈhɝːʃtə/ or /her-shta/ ) is a band from Montréal, Canada, recording on Constellation Records. It is the brainchild of singer and guitarist Mike Moya who, along with a revolving cast of musicians, has performed under the name since 2000. Moya was a founding member of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and was a core member of other Montréal groups Molasses and Set Fire to Flames. He has frequently played as part of Elizabeth Anka Vajagic’s band, and in various other projects.
HṚṢṬA’s critically lauded debut, L’éclat du ciel était insoutenable, was released on Fancy records in 2001. Work with Molasses and Set Fire To Flames kept Moya busy through 2001-2004, and he regrouped HṚṢṬA in 2004 to record the band’s second album, Stem Stem In Electro, released on Constellation in 2005. This recording featured a large cast of Montréal musicians, with Brooke Crouser (organ, guitar, effects) and the rhythm section of Harris Newman (bass) and Eric Craven (drums) emerging as consistent Hrsta members for studio and live playing.
HṚṢṬA toured extensively in Europe in 2006, with Moya and Crouser forming the core of the touring group, and Crouser establishing herself as Moya’s primary writing partner, further shaping the HṚṢṬA sound with her array of acoustic and electric organs and effects. The results of this collaboration can be heard on Hrsta’s third record, Ghosts Will Come And Kiss Our Eyes, released on Constellation in the fall of 2007.
HṚṢṬA harnesses traditional and otherworldly sound as Moya sings lyrics cribbed from lost faerie tales in a voice that recalls a more blissed-out Daniel Johnson or a less blissed-out Wayne Coyne. Moya’s electric guitar work is unique and recognizable to many from the early Godspeed records - a haunted, reverb-drenched, oscillating siren-sound, guided by a focused and soaring melodic sense.
Eric Craven is half of the duo Hangedup, and has worked extensively with numerous other artists of note, including A Silver Mt. Zion, Tony Conrad, Sackville, Sixtoo, and Mitch Akiyama.
Harris Newman works primarily as a mastering engineer in Montreal. He has released two solo albums of fingerpicked guitar under his own name, and has appeared on recordings by Esmerine, Sackville, Hangedup, and many others.
Brooke Crouser is a member of Jackie-O Motherfucker and Set Fire to Flames. She has toured and recorded extensively with various groups, most notably the Swords Project.
Lisa Gamble was a member of Molasses once with Mike Moya and joined the band in 2007 just after the release of the new record due to Eric being too busy to drum. She has been in the band every since and has done two European tours and is about to do a third.
1. Passenger Killed In Hit And Run (7:10)
2. Without Even Breathing (7:58)
3. Highway Lights (6:20)
4. The Only Ones Dead (8:56)
(Are Those Who Are Forgotten)
5. Hopes Of Yore (6:16)
6. Summer's Orange Haze (4:38)
7. Polaroids And Chinese Whispers (8:21)
8. Within The Nick Of Time (7:41)