Posts Tagged ‘Double Double Whammy Records’

Hovvdy discuss their new album <i>Heavy Lifter</i> and premiere a new single, “Cathedral”

Hovvdy, the Austin-bred slowcore duo of Charlie Martin and Will Taylor, released their third album Heavy Lifter today. Built around melancholic guitars and self-conscious vocals, lead single “Cathedral” is a lilting groove that feels like having a series of existential realizations in the middle of a field.

While Heavy Lifter does come off as familiar, the record also expands their sound. Working in close collaboration with engineer and producer Ben Littlejohn in various makeshift studios around Texas, they’ve refined their languid melodies and expanded on their previously muted production. It’s still cozy, but it also veers toward the cinematic, with brief forays into Auto-Tune, distorted drum machines, and hip-hop-inspired beats.

Lead single “Cathedral,” is a gentle introduction to this evolution. First it’s dominated by cyclical, strummed guitars reminiscent of Elliott Smith, and then it transforms into a sleepy anthem for late-summer nostalgia. Martin says he wrote the first part “a long time ago,” inspired by a “weird vision or dream about being in the past and seeing my grandma at this church.” Halfway through, the song seems to careen back in time, with Martin repeating the line: “maybe never come back here, we can stay with our friends.” It captures the youthful feeling of infinite time and endless summers, when you stay out with your friends and have zero responsibilities.

The duo sing of finding your own spirituality and learning how to step outdoors in the face of anxiety: “Trust I’ll calm down / Always do somehow / Open my door / Brighter than before / Outside, hide,” they whisper, sunnily.

Hovvdy have always had an uncanny ability to create a comforting effect with their songs, even when those songs are about fear, anxiety and their own personal shortcomings. Fans of their zoned-out, slowed-down indie-pop have come to rely on the duo for their consistently soothing music, and it’s a mantle they’ve gladly taken up. “I was really trying to make something that would make people feel better,” Martin says of Heavy Lifter, on the phone from his bandmate Taylor’s house in Austin. “And I think they have served that purpose for me too, just from making them.”

“Heavy Lifter” on Limited Edition Vinyl

Third album from Austin, Texas indie pop duo Hovvdy! Following their excellent previous albums Taster and Cranberry on Double Double Whammy. Hovvdy’s music is the sonic equivalent of a hug. Austin-based Charlie Martin and Will Taylor have been enveloping listeners in their soft, cozy, slow rock since 2014, when they released their debut EP on Bandcamp. Now, after five years, two split releases, and two albums they’re announcing their third album.  It arrives after Hovvdy’s tour with Lomelda, with whom the band recently released a split EP of covers.

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Hovvdy have always had an uncanny ability to create a comforting effect with their songs, even when those songs are about fear, anxiety and their own personal shortcomings. Fans of their zoned-out, slowed-down indie-pop have come to rely on the duo for their consistently soothing music, and it’s a mantle they’ve gladly taken up. “I was really trying to make something that would make people feel better,” Martin says of Heavy Lifter, on the phone from his bandmate Taylor’s house in Austin. “And I think they have served that purpose for me too, just from making them.”

While Heavy Lifter does come off as familiar, the record also expands their sound. Working in close collaboration with engineer and producer Ben Littlejohn in various makeshift studios around Texas, they’ve refined their languid melodies and expanded on their previously muted production. It’s still cozy, but it also veers toward the cinematic, with brief forays into Auto-Tune, distorted drum machines,

releases October 18th, 2019

all songs written by Hovvdy
produced by Ben Littlejohn and Hovvdy

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Hovvdy’s music is the sonic equivalent of a hug. Austin-based Charlie Martin and Will Taylor have been enveloping listeners in their soft, cozy, slow rock since 2014, when they released their debut EP on Bandcamp. Now, after five years, two split releases, and two albums (2016’s Taster and 2018’s Cranberry), they’re announcing their third album. Heavy Lifter will be released on October 18th via Double Double Whammy s.

Hovvdy have always had an uncanny ability to create a comforting effect with their songs, even when those songs are about fear, anxiety and their own personal shortcomings. Fans of their zoned-out, slowed-down indie-pop have come to rely on the duo for their consistently soothing music, and it’s a mantle they’ve gladly taken up. “I was really trying to make something that would make people feel better,” Martin says of Heavy Lifter, on the phone from his bandmate Taylor’s house in Austin. “And I think they have served that purpose for me too, just from making them.”

While Heavy Lifter does come off as familiar, the record also expands their sound. Working in close collaboration with engineer and producer Ben Littlejohn in various makeshift studios around Texas, they’ve refined their languid melodies and expanded on their previously muted production.

It arrives after Hovvdy’s tour with Lomelda, with whom the band recently released a split EP of covers.

“Means To Me” is the second full-length under Leslie Bear’s moniker, Long Beard, and her first since 2015’s Sleepwalker. Throughout the record, Leslie explores what constitutes a home—how it extends beyond the physicality of a roof over your head to the comfort of another person. A sense of self, stability or security.

The last four years between records mark a particularly significant and transitional time for Bear. A career move led her back to her hometown in New Jersey long after her friends and peers moved away, resulting in feelings of stasis and nostalgia that shape the album. Reflections on the past are evident in tracks like album single “Sweetheart”, in which Bear considers a past love, where they are now, and her life in relation to theirs.

Bear’s sophomore album shows a growth and maturation in sound from her debut. Co-produced with Craig Hendrix (Japanese Breakfast), the record occupies a dreamlike space that weaves between shoegaze-tinged guitars and upbeat, jangly pop. While still loyal to Leslie’s signature ethereal, melodic guitars and haunting whispered vocal delivery, the fully realized arrangements demonstrate a stunning clarity throughout the album.

The perfect amalgamation between Bear’s ambient-textured loops met with the pristine production and pop stylings of Hendrix’s playing can be heard in album standout “Snow Globe.” The combined reversal effects, seamless transitions, and heartbeat percussion are the language of Means To Me.

What Bear has created with Means To Me is not only a mirror for herself, but also a means for the listener to reflect on what home means to them. Whether Bear has defined a home for herself is left to wonder, as she leaves us with these final lines before the album crescendos into an explosive distorted instrumental and slowly fades: “driving down through our state lines while you dream, I’m thinking of a name to go by.”

Long Beard – “Getting By” From the album “Means To Me” Out September 13th 2019 via Double Double Whammy

Hovvdy’s third full length album, “Heavy Lifter”, is out October 18th, 2019. Charlie Martin and Will Taylor met at a baseball game while on tour drumming for different bands. Back home in Austin, the two Texas natives discovered both held batches of compatible songs, intended for solo projects. They merged as Hovvdy instead.

Penned separately, the duo’s first-ever songwriting efforts coalesce seamlessly on debut LP Taster . To this day, Charlie and Will create like satellites on the same orbit, combining bedroom recordings into a singular worn-in sound. Their downtempo rock found an audience in the Austin and New Orleans scenes, elevated by support from small indie Sports Day Records.

Brooklyn label Double Double Whammy re-released “Taster” in 2017, followed by “Cranberry” in 2018. The sophomore work solidified the group’s sturdy guitar strums and rhythmic instincts, enveloped in nostalgic glow. Third LP “Heavy Lifter” finds new dimensions in the Hovvdy soundscape.

For Heavy Lifter , the duo worked with producer, engineer, and multi-instrumentalist Ben Littlejohn. Throughout Autumn 2018, the team built out the album in makeshift home studios around Texas. Both singers’ voices cut through more decisively than ever, carried by vivid storytelling and production eccentricities.

Familiar fuzz maintains the warmth of past work, but Heavy Lifter is never muffled. Clear-cut characters and scenes emerge in the 13 tracks. Antsy love song “1999” wanders around a small town, while bright pop piece “Mr. Lee” retells a lonely day in reverent detail. Lo-fi Daniel Johnston moment “Tell me I’m a singer” empathetically enters an artistic perspective, unwound lyrically as: “Tell me I’m a singer.”

You can get an early taste via first single and video, “Cathedral,” that blankets you, warm and comforting, in a drowsy sort of way.

Memories inform present decision-making throughout the album. Two tracks dive into family legacies, “Pixie” admitting “outside my mind/ is where i’m gonna be/ not what i had hoped at 14.” “Sudbury” recounts childhood major league dreams: “front yard catch, you got a plan/ to be a baseball star/ texas ranger shortstop.”

Breaking from the confines of guitar-based slowcore, pop and hip-hop influences expand Hovvdy’s established framework. Propulsive, straightforward hooks usher in autotuned tweaks, chugging beats and genre exploration. By pulling apart slightly, Charlie and Will step into new spaces on Heavy Lifter . Always in sync, it’s a balanced effort.

There is transformative power bursting through the 12 songs on “Emily Alone”, the new album from indie-folk project Florist. It’s not loud or showy or self-serving or generous. It’s just there, simple and plainspoken, waiting to be engaged and willing to move through anyone who needs it. Presumably, that’s what happened to Emily Sprague, the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter named in the album’s title. Last winter, she wrote and recorded Emily Alone during a period of isolation and personal reflection spurred by the unexpected death of her mother and a move across the country, away from her collaborators in Florist (the band’s home base is still listed as New York on their Bandcamp). On Emily Alone, Sprague strips down her songs to their barest elements, leaving only her voice, words and plucked acoustic guitar (plus an occasional exception) to carry the message. What’s left is not just bedroom-recorded confessional music, but pure introspection, confusion, revelation and emotion rubbed raw and exposed to the world.

These songs are not sad so much as they channel the ebbs and flows of life lived inside a human brain with startling accuracy. Perhaps you have to be in the right place—emotionally, spiritually, spatially or whatever—for Emily Alone to impact you fully. But if you’re there, you’ll feel it. And if you’re not there, that’s okay. When you’re ready, Florist will be there waiting for you.

There is a metaphysical quality to the songs as they search for meaning in existence, swaying between the mundane and the spiritual. Emily believes deeply in the magic and connectedness of all things. The album Emily Alone is the creation of a self reflective lens through which we can view that omnipresence of love and life and the energy of all things around us as well as within us.

Featuring Emily Sprague Additional Vocals by Marguerite Sprague on Double Double Whammy Records

Florist’s forthcoming third album “Emily Alone” is out next week, and front woman Emily Sprague has released its third and longest cut thus far, a resigned and solemn track titled “Celebration”.

“Celebration” is full-bodied and bursting with a lush atmosphere of water lapping, birds chirping and ambient noises. Sprague opens the track with spoken word articulated over field recordings, and recounts the mundanities of living and being alone against lackadaisical finger-plucking: “With these hands now as I know them, a new scar and wow, tons of plants / Plant-induced psychosis / Keep me close, I’m good invisible / Sitting in loss like a bean bag chair.”

“Celebration” eventually gives way to Sprague’s gentle, careful vocals and rhythmic, hypnotic strumming as she finds herself alone and one with the earth once again: “If I lose my mind / Please give it back to the earth / Fire water wind / Earth fire water wind / And lie down.”

Though much longer and intricate than Sprague’s previous two releases the pensive “Shadow Bloom” and last month’s “Time Is A Dark Feeling”“Celebration” still captures the same feeling of wistful belonging and dark contemplation.

‘Celebration’ is a love song for darkness and the peaceful end to all things,” Sprague said in a statement. “A song in three movements: reality, fantasy, memory. In a lot of ways this song is the thesis to Emily Alone. Minimal arrangements—acoustic guitars, synthesizers, and voice accompanied by the ambient sounds of earth. Birds and water. The song begins with an experience of the now. It falls into imagining the way that things will always return to what they should be. It ends with a burial of negative forms and the acceptance of a beautiful new path towards growing from nothing.”

Emily Alone on Limited Edition Vinyl Double Double Whammy Records.

“Time Is a Dark Feeling” threads together fragile, echoing acoustic strumming with Emily Sprague’s gentle, unguarded vocals, freeing melodies and harmonies, and other beautiful things to whirl around her as the song dwindles down to its repeated refrain: “Time is a dark / Time is a dark feeling.”

The concept of time is so rigidly ingrained—from daily routines to monthly bills to milestone birthdays—that even suggesting it might not exist can be disorienting. On “Time Is a Dark Feeling,” the latest single from her upcoming album as Florist, Emily A. Sprague presents her defense against the clock. Sprague recognizes the essential role time plays but chooses to delineate her life in memories and emotions instead. “It’s not about time anymore, it’s just about feeling,”

Florist – “Time Is A Dark Feeling” from the album Emily Alone, out July 26th via Double Double Whammy Records.

This August, Texas bands’ Lomelda and Hovvdy head out on a U.S. tour together. Ahead of their trek, they’ve shared a new EP where they cover each other’s songs. “Covers” also includes a new collaboration called “🙂.”

A cassette edition of Covers is forthcoming (via Double Double Whammy). All proceeds from the cassette will go to RAICES, a nonprofit that provides low-cost legal services to immigrant children, families, and refugees.

Lomelda is the recording project of Silsbee, Texas musician Hannah Read. Her latest album, “M for Empathy”, came out this past winter.

Charlie Martin and Will Taylor comprise the Austin-based Hovvdy. They released their album “Cranberry” in February 2018.

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Released June 28th, 2019

performed & recorded by each artist in their homes
saxophone on “out there” by Tennyson Strano

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Texas singer-songwriter Hannah Read is the creative force at the heart of lo-fi folk project Lomelda, who released their third album Thx last year.

My new album ’M for Empathy’ is mostly things said or shoulda said, heard or shoulda. Much of it, and it’s just a lil, came to me, or outta me, outta a deepening silence. Something you can hear a lot of I hope. It let me voice again. It also let me not, and only sing as much as I wanted, which is important too. Making peace with the word in me, just a lil, all my might.
xo, Hannah
released March 1st, 2019

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performed and produced by
Hannah Read and Tommy Read
at Lazybones Studio in Silsbee, TX
January 26-28, 2019