Hovvdy: Press Play Again
By Robin Ecoeur
Our introduction to Austin duo Hovvdy was a video of an acoustic session called On The Porch With Hovvdy where guitarist Charlie seems really high. Their pal Ben from Bent Denim features on bass, showing the beginnings of what would eventually feature on the début record Taster, released last month via Sports Day Records and Merdurhaus Records.
It's hard to pick a stand out track from Hovvdy's début. The album is a syncretic utopia, a mixture of genres enhanced with simple guitar layers and great pop melodies. At first, Problem, a soft fuzzy bedroom hit, wins our hearts. Though the music can be labelled as Indie Rock, the outfit manage to create a world of their own. It's also pleasantly refreshing to hear a pure tone, with no real reliance on effects pedals. The melodies are all so simple, but they're beautifully odd, angular and inverted. And above all, it's incredibly catchy. Look at In My Head: 1.29 minutes, 4 chords, soft drumming...almost a perfect song.
"In My Head is a short narrative that changes perspectives a few times. Sometimes I wish we had jammed at the end to make it to a full 2 minutes".
When you listen to the record a second time, you hear another side to Hovvdy's sound. There is a gloomy but reassuring presence coming from these guitars. When you suss the formula of their songs, you understand what's going on. It's an experiment and venture towards new sounds. That's why the record registers consistency, despite being so variable. For this reason Taster is something you won't get bored of, and is actually, a distinctly Lo-Fi masterpiece.