by Emily Brower
photography by Bronwyn Walls
Hovvdy, the “pillow core” band based out of Austin, Texas, recently released their new album ‘Cranberry’. The band consisting of members Charlie Martin and Will Taylor released their first EP in 2014 and since then have continued to record and release music. With hints of 1960s folk and indie rock inspired sounds, you can’t help but feel as though you are drifting away on a cloud of nostalgia.
Immediately hitting you with the feeling that you’re walking up a mountain with flowers blanketing the countryside, ‘Brave’ has a calming tone that captures a sense of nature. The soothing vocals are almost therapeutic and your mind is able to drift off into oblivion as you’re enveloped by a tranquilizing melody of guitar strums.
‘In The Sun’ starts off with a more upbeat tone and has a similar vibe to ‘Big Jet Plane’ by Angus and Julia Stone, but continues to hold true to the calming nostalgic vibes that are entwined throughout the album. Being able to hear the guitar and plucking of the strings is a refreshing change in pace compared to the majority of today’s popular music that has found comfort in electronic beats.
Hovvdy has matured as a band since their initial debut in 2014 and their music has continued to evolve since the release of their last album ‘Taster’ in 2016. Their music has the ability to make everyday feel like a summer Sunday morning and convinces you that somehow everything in the world is going to turn out alright.
‘Petal’ and ‘Late’ both have very similar tones, but ‘Petal’ has a slower pace and sentimentality. With lyrics, “Talk with old friends / Like I need to / We look up, feel time / Just smile / Cuz it’s lasting all night,” you imagine yourself just sitting with friends in an abandoned parking lot at one in the morning talking about life and the future.
Starting with a foggy haze and subtle synthesizers that go almost unnoticed, ‘Cranberry’ is magnetic and the guitar mixed with the subdued vocals is the epitome of the indie-pillow pop vibe of the album. ‘Tub’ also mixes in electronic sounds and with no lyrics, the folk undertones are on full display, but still bring in a fresh new vibe to the album.
The somber intro to ‘Colorful’ juxtaposes the seemingly cheerful song title. With the lines, “They say you’re tired from sleeping / You’re tired from sleeping,” these lyrics resonate with those who feel as though they are a walking corpse who cannot seem to snap themselves out of it no matter how hard they try.
‘Swing’ changes tones and ends the album on a lighthearted note. With a sound that reminds you of the ending credits during the downfall of a movie, you can imagine driving around at sunset with the windows down and wind blowing through your hair. This whole album captures a sense of nostalgia for events that are yet to happen, and there is no in your face feeling that, Hovvdy are trying too hard to be out there and different. With simplistic melodies and lyrics, you are able to just sit back and appreciate the music that was created.
‘Cranberry’ can be found on Spotify, Bandcamp, iTunes, and other music streaming sites.