Prison Escapee – “Locket” and “Au Revoir”


Prison Escapee – “Locket” and “Au Revoir”


The unlikely name Prison Escapee describes the one man show of Erik David Hidde, an East Coast born and bred singer/songwriter transplanted to Southern California. Geography, however, plays no significant role in his musical work. What matters on his latest songs “Locket” and “Au Revoir” is, instead, the facility he demonstrates for taking well established elements from both the singer/songwriter and electronic genres and synthesizing them into something uniquely individual. There’s an obviously low fi vibe surrounding both tracks but listeners should never confuse the nature of this recording as a sign it suffers sonically. Hidde’s background as a record company owner when he lived in the New York City area likely influences some of that quality, but even a cursory listen to these two songs reveals an artist with absolute assurance about the direction of their sound. 

“Locket” relies much more on synthesizer than any other single instrument, but the rhythm section is key to tethering this to earth. The vocals have a certain amount of post production effects provided, but Hidde’s voice comes through clearly otherwise and he has a way of singing with equal parts conviction and sensitivity that’s quite compelling. There’s a sense of the care he takes with each phrase, but it is embodied with such obvious spirit. Despite the light haziness of the vocal recording, the lyrics are never obtuse. Hidde has mastered the art of placing straight forward material in a highly evocative atmosphere and there’s an artful sense of restraint in how he orchestrates small, carefully measured crescendos throughout the course of the track. It is brief, but makes a statement. 

“Au Revior” is much different in its musical approach. The electronic elements in his music are still present, but they are brought to heel in service of more traditional instrumental elements. The piano work on this song is particularly appropriate given its lyrical content – it’s an exemplary piece of writing that smacks of the personal without ever shutting listeners out. His voice is much more plaintive here than on the earlier song and obviously wrapped up with what the piano is doing, but the ultimate effect is uniform and entertaining. The fact that this is, nominally, a much more traditional song than the earlier effort doesn’t mean that it isn’t marked with the same flush of the individual fills this track every bit as much as it does the first.  

This is more than just intensely personal music. Prison Escapee manages to combine elements from a variety of strands in the popular music spectrum and infuse them wirh a artfully turned modern sensibility. “Locket” and “Au Revior” are successfully for a variety of similarities and differences alike. One can only imagine what a full length effort from this vehicle might sound like. Erik David Hidde is quite unique among songwriters working today.  


Michael Saulman