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Karen Haglof - "One Hand Up"

10 June 2024

Photo by Jonathan Kane

One Hand Up is the fourth full length album by Karen Haglof.  The album was produced by Haglof and Mario Viele, recorded at Cowboy Technical Services and Excello studios in Brooklyn, primarily mixed by Viele. Three songs were mixed at the Fidelitorium in Kernersville NC by Mitch Easter and mastered by Scott Craggs at Old Colony Mastering in North Scituate, RI.

One Hand Up is a collection of 14 songs that cover widely ranging sonic territory. The writing and production started prior to 2020 and was delayed by the pandemic. Because of a renewed interest in visual art, many of the songs on One Hand Up will be accompanied by visual components: hand-drawn 2D animation, motion graphics and video clips, adding up to a mixed media extravaganza.

karenhaglof · One Hand Up

“Slinky 66” is a COVID-19-era track that started with a drum loop; the accent riff provided by Jonathan Kane. 808/synth loops were added, and Mitch Easter provided the MOOG lines for an overall trippy vibe. In “Club 2121,” one of her favored jazzy Gmaj7- based chord progressions finds its rightful place in a space-age dancehall rave. “D.H.Y.B.” is the thunderous, wryly proggy forever home of a lick she’s been nursing for decades. “VOG (Existential Precariosity)” is Haglof’s fantasy of what collaboration between Led Zeppelin and Peter, Paul and Mary might sound like. And so it goes.
One Hand Up is the latest chapter in a musical career that was interrupted for decades. During her hiatus, Haglof earned a medical degree and joined the hematology / oncology department of New York University Hospital from which she retired in May 2023.

Prior to her career in medicine, Karen had been an active participant in the much-vaunted Minneapolis indie rock scene that gave the world the Replacements, Soul Asylum and Bob Mould’s Husker Du among many others. Eventually, she left the Midwest for Manhattan and joined renowned avant-garde composer Rhys Chatham’s Ensemble, one of the city’s seminal guitar army / orchestras, continuing on to join the Band of Susans with other veterans of Chatham’s crew. After serving as chef during the early years of East Village institution the Great Jones Café (and creating its legendary brunch menu), she entered medical school and didn’t seriously pick up a guitar for decades.

Visit Karen on her Official Website and on Facebook.