What’s in a band name? Does it even matter? Before we continue this debate and take you into clichés such as “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover” etc, please consider that this band nearly cost themselves a blog post on The Recommender because of their somewhat silly name. They obviously won’t care one jot, but we do, because we don’t like to miss posting about bands that sound this amazing.
We received an email last summer, around the time of their Momo EP, informing us about this exciting, new quartet from Boston, who had been making waves on the live circuit and American music blogs. They were looking to reach a few commentators over here in the UK, but it seems that we simply glanced at that email, noticing for a second or two that this expanded PR fluff was actually bringing us a band by the name of Hooray For Earth. Yeah, whatever. Rubbish name, move on – which seems to have been precisely what we did.
As ridiculously dismissive as that seems, please bear in mind that music bloggers get an unbelievable amount of emails each day, so it’s easy to miss things. Very easy. Sure we pick up lots too, so we’re thankful for some emails, but with so many time-wasters around making piss-poor music you can perhaps forgive us for being a little bit over-judgemental.
Beyond the name – which doesn’t actually seem quite so bad upon reflection, especially when you consider how uplifting the group’s attitude is – the music seems packed full of gorgeous surprises. On June 6th, they are due to release their second LP, True Loves, (although the UK release is delayed until September), on Dovecote Records, following their debut 2008 self-titled album. Once again they’re found jamming out a style of sweeping pop music, that’s got a heart beat that occasionally races and occasionally calms.
As we look back over their catalogue of available songs we notice an evolution. At their most up front there’s a set of vibrating, wall-of-sound guitar chords that The Big Pink stir up so well, (Form), whilst at their most tempered, they find the kind of psychedelic warmth more familiar with Animal Collective (Rolling/Nectarine).
The track Comfortable, Comparable walks the thin line between charming, zealous pop and that saccharine, over-dramatised dirge that misses the mark. On one side of that line you get New Order, on the other you get the likes of Hurts. It’s a case of the artists getting it or not getting it – Hooray For Earth thankfully get it.
There’s so much to enjoy from their consistently excellent library, but you find your excitement levels peaking at Surrounded By Your Friends, which is only matched in positivity and warmth by their band moniker. It’s a walk in the park on a sunny day, or like experiencing a love story first hand.
If you were hunting for a deal-closer though you should look no further than their most recent single, the new album’s title track True Loves – that has one of the finest videos we’ve seen all year – which once again finds them tempering their barrage of melodic noise, with a more sophisticated structure that is driven by a layered, rolling beat throughout and an endearing set of vocal mantras. It’s an absolute winner and shows them maturing with every turn, now hitting heights with their song-smithery that most musicians can only dream of.
They’ve also been known to try their hands at remixes and covers, even attempting Kanye West’s All Of The Lights, alongside Zambri, with psyched-out results, as well as having been remixed themselves by the likes of Twin Shadow and Oh No Ono, among others. Which ever way you discover them there’s no denying that this is a band capable of creating richly textured and remarkably developed pop music. It seems fitting to end this post with one clichéd but appropriate thought; “that which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet“. (MB)
HOORAY FOR EARTH – SURROUNDED BY YOUR FRIENDS
HOORAY FOR EARTH – TRUE LOVES
HOORAY FOR EARTH – FORM