Dec 24, 2015

My 2015 : Houndmouth - Little Neon Limelight

Legend has it that when Rough Trade’s Geoff Travis first saw Indiana quartet Houndmouth at the SXSW festival, he offered them a deal on the spot. It’s easy to hear why: their songs are instantly euphoric. Exuberant opener Sedona sets the tone for this second album, matching the giddy, ethereal atmosphere of early Fleet Foxes with a killer Strokes riff and an invitation to “hop on in, in a stagecoach, baby, gonna take you for a spin”. Often and not unreasonably compared to the Band, they have a palette that stretches from rambunctious rock’n’roll to bruised country balladry. They’re blessed with two great singers in the Dylanesque Matt Meyers and the more classically country-styled Katie Toupin, and when the members’ four voices combine, they really sound like they are breaking loose from their moorings. At best – on the rollicking 15 Years or the shoutalong Say It – it’s classic Americana delivered with the raucous spirit and energy of the Faces or Slade. They may suddenly find their stagecoach getting rather full. guardian

Quite a bit of Houndmouth's reputation has been built on exuberant live shows and the Greek chorus effect of all four voices joining in hale and hearty harmony during nearly every refrain. They tap those sensibilities in even more vital ways on Little Neon Limelight, with a youthful devotion to shaggy, swinging, big-screen storytelling that distinguishes their work from many of their more confessional, serious-minded peers. npr

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