From 2013-2016 Hjertmann composed the enigmatic album Psychopomp, CA to be released in July 2016 on Two Labyrinths Records.
The full band realization of Kong Must Dead convened in the mountains of North Carolina in the summer of 2015. Hjertmann (voice/gtr) was joined by Luke Gullickson (piano/rhodes/gtr), Chris Fisher-Lochhead (pedal steel gtr/viola), and Ryan Packard (drums).
Each of the band members cut their teeth in the avant-classical realm, and three of the members also collaboratively write/perform as Chicago-based genre- benders Grant Wallace Band.
released July 25, 2016
All lyrics & music by Ben Hjertmann (KLWHNAA, ASCAP). Track 13 written in Chicago, April 2009. Tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, & 6 written in Woodside, CA, April 2013. Track 3 written in Chicago, December 2013. Tracks 8, 10, 11, & 12 written in Amantha & Valle Crucis, NC, May-June, 2015. Track 7 written on the road between the Appalachian mountains and the Midwest, July 2015. Track 9 written in Cedar Rapids Iowa, July 2015. Arrangements by BH except tracks 7, 8, 10, 11, & 12 arranged by Kong Must Dead.
Initial recording in Chicago, IL & Cedar Rapids, IA 2013-2014. Final recording in Amantha, NC July-August 2015. Recorded, Mixed, Mastered by Ben Hjertmann, except BR-M, MS, BW, BbH and ZH recorded themselves in CT, NY, NJ, MI, & CA. Title for track 4 and lyrics inspired by Werner Fritsch. Album art by BH. Many thanks to the musicians, my wife, my mom, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program.
Ben Hjertmann, vocals, guitar (1,3,7,8,11,12), piano (4,6,13), sequencing, other
Chris Fisher-Lochhead, viola (1,2,4,7,11,13), pedal steel (7,9,10,12), bass (8), trombone (2), vocals (8,11)
Luke Gullickson, rhodes (1,3,7,8,12), piano (2,5,9,10), guitar (11), vocals (8,11)
Ryan Packard, drums (1,2,3,4,5,7,8,10,11,12)
Brendon Randall-Myers, guitar (2,5)
Ben Willis, bass (4,5)
Meerenai Shim, alto flute (1)
Bobby Halvorson, vocals (1)
Zach Herchen, bari sax (4)
Erik DeLuca, electronics (6)
Elliot Cole, vocals (8,11)
Kevin Lundgren, whistling (8)
Madelyn Hjertmann, vocals (10)
Andy Junk, announcement (2)