Posts Tagged ‘Hodera’

Effortlessly mixing vibrant indie-rock with the story telling of Americana, Hodera is prepared to be a band that never leaves listeners heads. Spearheaded by Matthew Smith, Hodera has persisted in forming a unique sound amidst the vast depths of successful New Jersey acts. The group’s first release, 2014’s Reset To Default, was only a glimpse at the songwriting talent possessed by Smith. With 2015’s United By Birdcalls the name Hodera name was put on the map, touring extensively both in the United States and the United Kingdom. From landing showcases at SXSW and set times at The Fest, the honest nature of the songs found the band at the top of Spotify Viral Charts. Hodera have now released “First Things First” via Take This To Heart Records .

First Things First is an explorative album, diving into difficult subjects such as depression, suicide, loss and love. Hodera have weaved a web of progress through their constant work ethic, bettering their songwriting and pushing the boundaries of their delicate dynamics. First Things First is candid with its emotions, unraveling a soundscape that provides listeners with an album full of memory and warmth.

“I like to keep the storyline in each song raw, so it’s not just a general pop song, or anyone else’s memory. It’s my story that I’m telling and letting people connect with,” Smith comments about First Things First. Being transparent is more than an act for Hodera, it’s embedded into the very soul of the music, and that’s what makes their music feel personal.

Through First Things First’s dynamic ten tracks, we are brought on a journey with Hodera, as Matthew poetically narrates each story. We join them in the confusion and frustration of growing up and trying to find where we belong; the grief of losing friends, family and potential loves; the dark corners depression can lead to, and the measures someone will go to just for a glimpse at happiness’ light again. Ultimately though, it leads us to the realization that no one is alone in the human experience and we can all strive to get better. So, first things first, go give this album a listen.

First Things First is out now


The lyricism is beautifully sad and makes me feel like I have fallen for the same drifting souls that inspired the tracks. I want to be one of those souls.


Hodera began as an outlet for Matthew Smith’s poetry to be put to folk music. At its core, the songwriter sentiment remains, but the final product contains tinges of 2000’s alternative, emo, and indie rock. Smith’s voice is deep, conversational, and kind, but communicates internal pain through teeth-gritting yells that match the explosive energy of a breaking crescendo. listen to Hodera perform their crunchy alt-rock tunes, and sing along with heartbreaking choruses boosted by a powerful low-end presence.

Band Members
Matthew Smith – Electric Guitar and Vocals
Doug Gallo – Electric Guitar and Backup Vocals
Alek Mager – Bass
Scott Tilley – Drums

Three or four years ago, New Jersey band Hodera didn’t have a place to play, But I fell in love with their music. I feel like you don’t get good Americana very often anymore. Everyone does a quirky screamo thing, or a pop-punk thing. It’s kind of fragmented. But it’s a very ballsy move to just do rock. Not alt-rock, not post-rock. Just rock. That’s what Hodera pulls off so well. Plus I love the title of this album. Great songwriting of very personal and relatable stories

Their album “United by Birdcalls” is just astonishingly well put together. I heard about the band after a SXSW report, The band have a great reputation for their live set. He always leaves it all out there. I respect that so much. You know when you first listen to a record and you have your immediate favorites? And then you sit on it for a little while and it changes. My first favorite was the single “Feel Better,” because I just love the line ‘Why can’t I feel better?’ That frustration of trying to be better for another person. He’s describing the exhaustion of trying to be better, and if I could find someone who’s haunted by the same things I am, then we could talk for hours until we both feel better. I love that one lyrically. When I saw them live, they played “Breathe Easy,” and it was so loud.  It just rocked so hard. They have these big giant lights that they controlled. They didn’t have a lighting guy; he just put a switch next to his pedal board and controlled the lights with his feet. It was so cool. They do everything. If they want something done, they just do it themselves.