May 23rd, 2009 , by John Beeler
The debut album from Hermas Zopoula, Espoir, is now officially out and available for purchase. Zopoula recorded the first disc in the official Burkina Faso government studio, and the second in his backyard, sidestreet, and living room.
WE LOVE YOU SO, a blog documenting some of the influences on Spike Jonze’s upcoming Where the Wild Things Are, listed Espoir as one of them. And Thom Jurek at allmusic called the album one of the "great surprises of 2009."
It might be a while before Zopoula makes his way from Burkina Faso to the U.S., so he has instead recorded no less than a dozen videos. Some are official music video, some are interviews, and some are impromptu recordings. All are enjoyable. You can watch them here.
Buy the album here.
March 28th, 2009 , by John Beeler
We’re honored to be releasing Espoir in a few weeks, the debut album from Hermas Zoupola . You can wait, or you can start watching and listening now. Hermas has recorded four videos: in one he walks down his street in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; another is in his back yard; for the third he recorded inside his home; and the fourth takes place in his studio. Together, the four videos provide a nice cross-section of the two-disc album, and the place where Hermas wrote the album. Click more to see the other three videos, or here to go to our Vimeo account.
March 4th, 2009 , by John Beeler
Asthmatic Kitty is very pleased to introduce you to Hermas Zoupula and announce that we will be releasing his debut album, Espoir, on May 19th, 2009. Hermas is many things. He is the youngest of 36 children. Born in a small village named Yoro, he is Burkinabe, a citizen and resident of Burkina Faso, West Africa. He is a moped enthusiast, orphanage volunteer, and internet cafe proprietor. Hermas is also a psalmist, and Espoir is his first international recording. Hermas sings in four different languages on the album: French, English, Dioula, and Sissali (Hermas’ mother tongue). The only way to introduce Hermas’ sound was to release Espoir as a two disc set. The first disc, recorded in a government studio in Burkina Faso, presents a refined and practiced Hermas. But the Hermas on the second disc is the one most Burkinabes know, just him and his guitar in his backyard. Comparisons to singer/song-writer Seu Jorge are inevitable, but listeners will find Hermas’ voice sweeter and warmer. Other audible influences in Hermas’ music are Afro-pop pioneer Thomas Mapfumo and Toumani Diabate’s Symmetric Orchestra.
See a video of Hermas in the studio during the recording of balafon parts for Espoir here or by clicking more.
Also, in honor of this release we would like to take time to orientate you to the wonders and beauty of Burkina Faso culture. Click here to launch "FASOCAST – Sounds From Burkina Faso" on AKradio, compiled by Jonathan Dueck, the album’s cover artist. You can read a track-by-track commentary by Dueck on the Sidebar right here.
May 28th, 2008 , by John Beeler
We recently announced the addition of Ermasse to our artist roster, whose homespun guitar gems warmed our hearts. Up until now though, nothing has forced him to settle on the exact spelling of his name. A new passport, and the second century writing The Shepherd of Hermas, helped him settle his mind on "Hermas." Hermas Zopoula. Pronunciation is the same.
No matter how you spell his name, we’re very excited and honored to bring his music to you soon.
(For those of us who need this described in the dialect of indie rock gossip, assume he broke up as Ermasse and has reformed under Hermas. Twice.)
"Seigneur Apprend Moi" (Download)