Taken from their forthcoming album Memos, new single Arkansas from US indie pop band The Hush Now is an engaging invitation to their impending summer release. Formed around 2008, the Boston band has drawn strong plaudits and responses to their previous albums and been equally acclaimed for their appearances at the SXSW and CMJ festivals and though relatively unknown outside of their homeland, one suspects the quintet with the new single can look forward to that changing, especially in the UK with the arrival of the album is the new song is an example of its contents.
Formed in 2006 by vocalist/guitarist Noel Kelly, The Hush Now first made a mark on fans and critics with their debut self-titled of 2009. With its pop and dreamy soundscape fusion the release made a good mark on independent radio charts and pulled comparisons to the likes of Cure, Guided by Voices, My Bloody Valentine, and Teenage Fan Club towards the band. Second album Constellations a year later continued to set the band up as one to watch. With a line-up completed by guitarist Adam Quane, bassist Pat MacDonald, drummer Barry Marino, and John Millar on keyboards, the new single feels like the next potent step for the band towards the widest recognition.
Arkansas was seeded in a road trip to one of their festival appearances. Noel Kelly tells more, “Arkansas started out with a garage band loop conjured up by our keyboardist in the back of our crammed tour van while on our way down to SXSW. It’s a good 36 hour haul from Boston to Austin. We played a couple of shows on the way down in NYC and Philadelphia, but on the last leg of the trip and about halfway through the state of Arkansas our drummer found out that a dear friend had passed unexpectedly. We stopped and mulled over our options at a gas and sip and eventually decided to carry on. We spent the week in Austin like ghosts shifting through the crowds and then piled back into the van for a marathon, nonstop drive back to Boston. Although the song at its core is about being caught in a manipulative relationship, the lyrics try to capture that time rumbling back through the vastness of Arkansas, staring out the window and lost in reflection with a sense of nothing to return to at home.”
Opening with dowdy singular notes of the keys the song soon lures in a richer melodic tease from Millar and a deep bass temptation from MacDonald which sets up the ear eagerly for the mellow and expressive tones of Kelly. His gentles vocal caresses engage over the firm rhythms and guitar flashes, soaking the brewing sounds in a fine emotive and infectious harmonious wash. Across its length the track is a persuasive slice of accomplished indie pop but into its chorus ignites an even stronger passion for the inventive smouldering intensity and passion of the song. Ending as it began, Arkansas is an inspiring and tenderly forceful seduction towards the band and their approaching full length release.
For elegant yet fiery pop music crafted with heart and emotive generosity The Hush Now is a band to pay close attention to.
Check out the single at https://soundcloud.com/thehushnow/arkansas
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