Guest Author: Chase DeMaster
Hovvdy is a band of taste, they have a lot of it, and I think it’s all excellent. On their new record Heavy Lifter, they do an excellent job of holding the center by reaffirming their truths (acoustic w brushes) and their heroes (a new fruit on the Polyvinyl family tree legacy), but they also kind of advance outward (balance; sphere) and find some new sound worlds (Machine’s komplete drum samples? and vocal tuning automatically). It’s artistic, it’s responsible, and I like listening to it.
I think there is a special thing that happens when you listen to a song, let someone tell you a story, or even read a review. When you are focused on listening, it’s kind of like a phenomenon of sorts where you willfully abandon your conscious thoughts and allow someone else to take over for a period. If it is done right, when you hand over the keys to your thoughts and allow someone else to drive your consciousness around, it can be really enjoyable. That’s why some records/movies are GREAT! and why some people do/don’t like twitter/FB (they have a social network that shares trash thoughts). When I think about cult leaders or other incredibly charismatic people, and their die-hard followers and why it all works, this consciousness steering helps me understand what might be going on. Maybe, the listeners/followers have so much more of a pleasurable experience when their leader is guiding their thoughts than when they are thinking for themselves?! I think this happens all the time in yeah, cults, but I really like this idea of “guided thought” as being democratized. Everyone is potentially a cult leader now! I mean, people used to object to watching a movie that was longer than 2 hours with some argument of holding attention that long or something blah blah, but now things are different. Like, millions of people listen with their full attention to Dan Carlin dig and dig about the ancient Persian empire for upwards of 18 hours. Dan was otherwise just a normal person but now he (and everyone else) are more like cult leaders. I like to think about this with music. When people listen to good music, music that guides the listener forward and with stimulus well, WHAM!, they are flooded with dopamine through a dynamic experience that is powerful. If we bring in the idea of nostalgia and memory, it’s all over. I say all that to say this:
When I listen to Hovvdy’s Heavy Lifter, I feel good. There are musical cues that tie to my favorite bands/music, there are lyrics that bring me back home/somewhere else, and they do it all with good intentions. I love it, and I want you to know that It’s a safe space/listen with a positive outlook; I suggest you listen with full abandon. Because, when I do, I feel taller, and I can see my plans more clearly. Houston Rockets, point guard. Thank you, Will. Thank you, Charlie. Congratulations, you did a good thing.
Heavy Lifter is available on all streaming sites, in all digital music stores or physically from Double Double Whammy. HOVVDY is on tour beginning tonight at The Camel in Richmond, VA until November 24 at Larimer Lounge in Denver, CO. The duo’s complete tour schedule can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo by Santiago Dietche.