Posts Tagged ‘Will Taylor’

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

Flyte have recently returned with their lovely new EP “White Roses”, a release that they describe as a good preview of what’s to come for their eventual next album. Over the past few years, we’ve watched indie rockers Flyte  admiring their wonderful tunes It took many years but after the release of their terrific debut album The Loved Ones last year they finally announced their first appearance at SXSW in Austin, Texas and ended up following those dates with their debut New York performance, with the promise of some old songs but also, some new ones. This performance featured only half of the band, with Will Taylor and Nicolas Hill playing all the songs totally stripped down and acoustic.

The band hinted that they finished their new album, one that was described as a heavy break-up album. These songs were personal and heartbreaking, but with that whimsical folk charm that the band has been leaning into with precision with every new release. Along with “White Roses” and “I Still Believe In You” from the EP White Roses,  four other brand new songs, “Never Gonna Stop Trying To Break Your Heart,” “Never Get To Heaven,” “Everyone’s a Winner” and “Mistress America,” which was played for the very first time ever on their recent festival dates at the Deershed and 110 Above Festival .

These new songs have me really excited for the new album, The band soared as high as ever. They thanked the crowd for sticking with them for the new songs and then rewarded us with lavish performances of “Cathy Come Home” and “Faithless” from their superb debut and one of the best albums of 2017, The Loved Ones.

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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.

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.

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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Hovvdy is a slow-moving, minimal indie band co-fronted by Charlie Martin and Will Taylor. The duo writes rhythmic, spacious tunes with hazy keyboard tones and sparse, patterned guitar movement. Their strength as a band lies in the ability to turn toward pop melodies; Hovvdy know the precise time to make that shift and sustain it just long enough to remain fresh.

Hometown
Austin, TX

Band Members
Charlie Martin – Keys, Guitar, and Vocals
Will Taylor – Guitar and Vocals
Grady Bell – Bass
Ray Micarelli – Drums

Hovvdy perform on Audiotree Live, September 29, 2017.

Session Tracklist
1. Better
2. Problem
3. Meg
4. Can’t Wait
5. Friend
6. In My Head
7. Thru
8. Pretend

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Hovvdy have announced their sophomore effort, Cranberry for release 9th February via the fine folks at Double Double Whammy Records. Their tunes are chilled out pop tunes. They bounce along, never getting overly excited but leaving you humming along.

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Based in Austin, Texas, Hovvdy (pronounced “howdy”) is the writing and recording project of Charlie Martin and Will Taylor. The duo, both primarily drummers, first met in the fall of 2014 and quickly bonded over a love for quiet music. Within a few weeks, they had combined songs and began recording their first EP in bedrooms and family homes across Texas.

Flyte are Will Taylor (vocals, lead guitar), Nick Hill (bass, vocals), Sam Berridge (keyboards, guitars, vocals) and Jon Supran (drums, vocals).
The band spent the first months of 2017 in Australia putting the finishing touches to their debut album with ‘Courtney Barnett’ producer Burke Reid, a collaboration that delves deep into new sonic territory to create a modernist but timeless sound that revels in coming-of-age nostalgia, cinematic synth melodies and prolific storytelling themes of life, love and death.
One of the great treasures of 2017 came in the form of British act Flyte’s debut album The Loved Ones and I don’t know that anyone else seemed to notice. It’s a god damn shame, as it’s a wonderful album that is stripped down to just the core elements of pure songwriting bliss that it’s almost way too good for present-day consumption. I’ve been following the band throughout the years releasing singles, seeing them evolve from releasing 80’s sounding slices of Brit-pop to this more refined 60s sound that feels timeless and essential. The band went into the recording of the album not set on making a big single or moment, but rather making an album that flowed seamlessly with each track as important as the last. It’s fitting on this list that they end the album in old-school fashion, with a cover of Alvvays’ “Archie, Marry Me.”
Last year, vocalist Will Taylor and keys player Sam Berridge got drunk and uploaded a cover of Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’ to their Facebook page. The slap-dash DIY charm and heart-wrenching voices started a Flyte-movement. Racking up over 1M streams, fans wanted more sessions, and Flyte began carefully curating covers in London landmarks with towering acoustics, earning a reputation for their trademark four-part harmonies, as well as their live sound. Pulling on all their resources, the band also started a successful sell-out club night Chasing Heaven, where friends were invited to play at intimate London venues.

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Accomplished songwriters Will, Sam, Nick, and Jon have released a flurry of alternative-indie anthems including ‘We Are The Rain’, ‘Closer Together,’ and ‘Light Me Up’ over the past few years and have amassed over 1.5M Spotify streams. Evolving together as a band and great friends.

Based in Austin, Texas, Hovvdy (pronounced “howdy”) is the writing and recording project of Charlie Martin and Will Taylor. The duo, both primarily drummers, first met in the fall of 2014 and quickly bonded over a love for quiet music. Within a few weeks, they had combined songs and began recording their first EP in bedrooms and family homes across Texas.

By 2016 the two had committed to each others growth in songwriting and recording, resulting in their debut album “Taster”, originally released on Sports Day Records and reissued in 2017 by Double Double Whammy. Hovvdy has found a unique identity in rhythmic, down-tempo pop songs that are hopeful, yet melancholy; relatable, yet distinguishable.

Hovvdy’s sophomore album, “Cranberry”, expands on a familiar texture, building off Taster’s minimal complexity and covering new ground. Hovvdy – “Petal” Off their new album, “Cranberry” Out February 9th, 2018 on Double Double Whammy Records.

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 Flyte’s debut album shimmers with a very English melancholy. There is ancient, churchlike resonance to the choral harmonies of “Annie & Alistair”, a tale of the twelve-step programme at Alcoholics Anonymous. There is something of Orange Juice’s sun-dappled innocence to “Victoria Falls”, and shades of Simon & Garfunkel in the beautiful acoustic ballad Orphans of the Storm, but also the spirit of the English outsider, romantic and hopeful and never entirely satisfied, running throughout the album. You can hear it in “Sliding Doors”, a Talk Talk-inspired tale of a suicide, and in “Cathy Come Home”, in which the parents of a girl whose boyfriend has been beating her up beg her to return to the family fold. Not so much drawing on his own life as seeking experiences to then reflect upon, Will’s style of writing has as much in common with George Orwell and Evelyn Waugh as it does with Nick Drake, Ray Davies, or any number of songwriters who have tapped into the English malaise for inspiration.

“Being an English songwriter is tainted ground,” says Will, “but all the poetry I’ve mustered is about the sadness and mournfulness that penetrates English life. Cathy Come Home, for example, is about empty nest syndrome, and the pain of seeing a child moving into adulthood. Orphans of the Storm gets its name from a chapter in Brideshead Revisited. Perhaps it is because I come from Winchester, which I have a massive chip on my shoulder about because it is so incredibly safe and middle class and my dad taught at the college for clever people, while I went to the local comp, but I can’t get away from that kind of sensibility.”

Flyte’s story begins at that comprehensive in Winchester when Will, aged thirteen, formed a band called the Ashbys with drummer Jon Supran. (“We had a tiny bit of hype. Lily Allen said she liked one of our songs.”) Needless to say, there was still much growing up to do, and after leaving school, after spending six months in San Francisco and a year in Paris with his then-girlfriend, Will reconnected with Jon and bassist Nick Hill, another school friend. Then in 2013 Will spotted Sam Berridge, the band’s classically trained keyboardist and guitarist, busking at Tottenham Court Road station. Ten years of waiting for something to happen, forming a band with three other musicians gifted with great singing voices, and a serious case of heartbreak — Will’s girlfriend ended things not long after Flyte came together , This gave the band all the ingredients they needed to hit the ground running.

“My soon to be ex-girlfriend made a video on an iPhone of us playing Faithless,” says Will. “It snowballed from there.”

Once the band had a deal in place with Island Records, after releasing their first single on Transgressive, and the time to devote themselves to making a great debut, Flyte released a flurry of alternative-indie anthems including ‘We Are The Rain’, ‘Closer Together,’ and ‘Light Me Up’, amassing millions of streams and a dedicated live following – having started their own sell-out Chasing Heaven club night, where friends are invited to play at intimate London venues, with many artists passing through such as Beatenberg, Toothless, and Grace Lightman. But it was one Christmas night that spelled a Flyte-movement – when Will and Sam uploaded a cover of Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’ to their Facebook page. The heart-wrenching interpretation racked up over 1M streams, with fans wanting more sessions. The band began carefully curating covers in London landmarks with towering acoustics, including Heaven Talking Heads, and Archie Marry Me by Alvvays, which features on the record.

Earning a reputation for their trademark vocal arrangements, the goal was to come up with a sound that acknowledged the music they loved, from Nick Drake to Mac DeMarco to Vangelis’s soundtrack to Blade Runner, without being derivative or overly reverential. Sam says Flyte found their voice by “forcing restriction on the music, and by making the most of having four singers in the group. When we realised it was a unique thing to have four people who could sing in harmony we emphasised that. We knew it wasn’t going to sound like anything else.”

“We would be in the studio and say to each other: ‘wouldn’t it be great to have some strings here?’, or, ‘Let’s get a wicked synth line on this track,’” adds Will. “And we always conclude, ‘No, let’s do it with the voices because it will always work that way. And it’s our way.’”

No album worth its place in the pantheon is made without the spilling of much blood, sweat and tears. Flyte don’t make life easy for themselves. They never use Pro Tools, instead practising intensely, honing and crafting each song until they know they can do a great live take of it in the studio. Harmonies are captured by having three voices sing into one microphone rather than using the more common modern technique of layering with overdubs.

“None of the albums that inspire us as musicians are heavily edited, polished or overproduced,” says Sam, “so we didn’t want ours to be either.”

Each member of the band contributed to the music, to which Will then added the words, but that doesn’t mean it was plain sailing. “Our process of making music is democratic but frustrating,” Will explains. “Dreams get crushed on a daily basis because everyone has a say, so you have to let go of something you might be particularly proud of. There is a lot of arguing, crying and hating each other and I want to die most of the time, but the end result makes it worthwhile.”

 Please listen to Flyte’s life-affirming album of tightly constructed songs,