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Album Review: Hovvdy 'Cranberry'

January 11, 2018 Meredith Schneider

Double Double Whammy

Austin-based duo Hovvdy – comprised of Charlie Martin and Will Taylor – releases their sophomore effort on February 9th. Though they’re both primarily drummers, they have developed a well-rounded, beautiful, and mellow sound that is incredibly pleasing to the ears. Cranberry takes its listeners through a gorgeous twelve track journey, winding slowly through emotional topics and really inserting its own romantic and tangible energy into the sound space.

Based on musical inspiration combined with the idea of a more simplistic sound, Cranberry begins in a whirring soundscape with first track “Brave”, and rounds out at a similar pace with slightly more assertive twelfth track “Swing”. Every track in between the two bookends lends itself to a sound that feels optimistic and soft, full of young hope brimming from the mouths of old souls. The third song “Thru” combines strings with an almost experimental and primal percussion track, though “Petal” pulls you into a very different, slightly melancholic tempo. One of our favorites? Eighth track “Float”. It’d be difficult to explain why, perhaps the tempo really allows you to frame the song how you need it to be at the moment, existing in a sound space that feels both sad and remarkably optimistic at once. Perhaps lines like “I want to be like you” feel intrinsically hopeful, or the tempo makes this track pretty perfect to lend to a yoga playlist.

Is it fair to say that this album is the perfect blend of turn-of-the-century nostalgia, with a sound that feels like a modernized “emo” incorporating its feels-inducing lyrics and clean, simplistic sound. In fact, because of the visuals in the music video for their track “Petal”, we imagine many of their songs would be perfect in a soundtrack to a movie that is set in the 90s. Hovvdy creates music that is raw and makes you feel something, and that’s honestly what it’s all about.

Keep up with Hovvdy here.