I checked out Hovvdy on a whim when I saw they were connected to Pope (who I’ve now mentioned in multiple posts).
Their first full-length album Taster was the first thing of theirs I came across, and I was very pleasantly surprised. Checking out bands that are somehow connected to another band you already like can be a good way to find great new stuff.
Hovvdy has an approach that is vaguely similar to Pope in their vocals as well as their overall feel. Instead of having fuzzed-out guitars and a generally loud sound though like Pope often does, Hovvdy tends more toward the quiet side.
“Better” starts off the album very slowly and quietly. It is almost like the opening sentence of an essay in that it draws you in, but you’re still not exactly sure what to expect. It does, however, set the tone for the album with its almost whispering vocals and distinct yet very laid-back drums.
The following track “Problem” is where everything kicks off. The rhythm picks up a bit and a very catchy riff ensues. This song has been in my head for a long time, and I’m just fine with that.
“Try Hard” is another song worthy of mention because at that point in the album the mood shifts to having more of an electronic feel to it because of the synthesizers that are used. I think it was this song that made me realize how versatile Hovvdy is because “Problem” sounds similar to a Pope song, but “Try Hard” almost makes it feel like we’ve changed genres (in a good way). This is a perfect song to listen to while driving or walking somewhere. It is reflective and calming while also moving steadily forward.
I also want to mention “Pretend” because it carries on with the electronic feel. I was not really expecting this kind of approach, but it was definitely great to find it. I’m not sure why I wasn’t expecting it either, but Hovvdy does a great job of doing whatever they want and making it flow together coherently. The switch from “Can’t Wait” to “Pretend” is pretty significant stylistically. “Can’t Wait” has guitars playing distorted riffs and the drums providing a solid blues beat giving it a strong overall rock style, but once “Pretend” begins it’s like we’re suddenly listening to Youth Lagoon and that’s okay by me.
Much like the individual tracks I’ve mentioned, this whole album is reflective and dwells upon the past sometimes while sitting calmly and sometimes while walking or driving into the unknown.
Discovering bands like Hovvdy is why the search for good music is always worth it and also why I feel the need to share what I’ve found. It’s just too good to not say anything.