Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, The Hush Now appear to be offering all things to all men. Using elements of dream pop, power pop and general indie pop, their “eager to please” songs could have been quite annoying. As it turns out, their second album is a gem.
Thanks to its uptempo demeanour, much of ‘Constellations’ wouldn’t sound out of place in the times of Brit-pop. Frontman Noel Kelly possesses a very nasal vocal, the guitars jangle and every song seems centred around a bouncy power pop melody. This isn’t a bad thing but hardly a stylistic leap forward. Yet after the first couple of listens, some songs began to have more depth than I had initially given them credit for.
Indeed, there are plenty terrific moments here. The title track features nagging riffs, Kelly’s vocal is breezy and effervescent, the drumming is crisp and the fact that the song doesn’t feature much in the way of a chorus yet still demonstrates greatness is a testament to their skill. The gentle but substantial ‘Thorns’ is guided by ambient textures and subtle guitar chords whilst ‘Fireflies’ is propelled by an inspired banjo player. Furthermore, for ‘All You’ve Said And Done’, Kelly’s keening presence and the insistent guitars dovetail into hypnotic pop bliss. It’s a trick they repeat again for the finale ‘Carousel’ which is as head spinning a pop song as you’ll hear this year and is also their most obvious nod to the shoegazing moment.
Since it doesn’t fit in with the times, ‘Constellations’ could well be one of those records which is in danger of being overlooked. Yet for those who venture to discover it (and it’s free to download from their site), it reveals itself to be a classic indie pop record.
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