When you love a band, you’re blissfully happy when every new album is as good if not better than the last. In that regard, Slow Wave by London quartet It Hugs Back signals a band that keeps getting better while holding onto what makes them great.
Slow Wave boasts alluring half-spoken baritone lead vocals and hypnotic guitars courtesy of songwriter Matthew Simms, also known for his work in Wire since 2010. Graceful keyboards and lush vocal harmonies, echos and responses are provided by Jack Theedom. Paul Michael delivers gentle basslines and drummer Will Blackaby rounds out the relaxed rhythm section. All combine to create layered, dreamy songs you can fall in love with. Or to.
It Hugs Back albums are recorded in Simms’ studio The Record Room, and sound just as good as any studio recording. In their early days, having formed in 2006, It Hugs Back was on Too Pure and 4AD record labels, but their last few albums have been released on their Safe & Sound imprint.
Slow Wave was first recorded live by the full band, then Matthew and Jack added 12-string guitars, mellotron strings, analog synthesizers and vocal overdubs. The songs were then sent through an old copi-cat tape delay.
Whereas past IHB albums like 2013’s Recommended Record featured up-tempo songs you can get a speeding ticket to — with plenty of noise-pop and psychedelic moments and heavy effects — Slow Wave is the prettiest release, more along the lines of Remember off their Inside Your Guitar release. It still sounds like the same band, just more hushed and halcyon.
Slow Wave comes out June 15. Pre-order today on iTunes and get an immediate download of Everything’s OK:
King Tuff and Herzog play the Beachland Ballroom Thursday April 2, 2015.
Show starts at 8:30pm (doors at 7:30pm).
King Tuff (Brattleboro, LA; Sub Pop)
Herzog (Cleveland; Exit Stencil Recordings)
Herzog has quietly been building a devoted following with their relentless take on guitar-driven power-pop. Comparisons to ’90s luminaries such as Built to Spill, Sebadoh, and Dinosaur Jr abound—apt and warranted—but similarities with present-day bands like Diarrhea Planet, Thee Oh Sees and FIDLAR are equally appropriate. Boys is the new album by Cleveland’s Herzog on Exit Stencil Recordings and is by far their most ambitious, cohesive, and sonically diverse album to date.
Each interview will include a special curated playlist brought to you by the artist being interviewed. For the first one, we are going to do it as a youtube playlist. If you’d like to see it in a different format please drop me a line DRONECORE at GMAIL dot COM.