Hovvdy - Cranberry
Warm hazy folk inspired indie dream pop may be a long description of the music that Hovvdy produce, but it's an apt one as well. It takes ac couple tracks to get out of the slow almost Iron & Wine style delivery, always forced through this faded filter. This is an album about longing, searching a striving for something that you may not even be sure is going to actually arrive. This Austin based duo feel just like the perception of the city, a little too hipster for it's own good, but with a genuine Americana heart. These tracks are nice and meander through this sun drenched landscape that they've created, the only problem is it is infinitely boring. "Petal" feels like folk shoegaze complete with fuzz and repetition. The DIY nature of the album works at times but at others feels like it's trying way to hard. If your songs evoke this idea of a porch somewhere in a field of flowers while do you also need to record it there? When the harpsichord makes it's appearance on "Tub" the eye roll is almost impossible to avoid. If this was delivered with some humor or something to lighten the mood that would be totally fine, but they are taking this dead serious and the song really suffers for it. The songs are short with few being over three and a half minutes but they are so slowly paced that they tend to really drag.
The instrumentation on this record can swing from a synth driven track like "Thru" to the almost entirely country inspired "Truck". It feels a bit weird but Hovvdy are able to make it work. The bands name is maybe one of the things I hate the most about this record. It is trying so hard to be cute that it feels utterly ridiculous. The first track sounds so much like the last track that you feel like you haven't gone anywhere or done anything. It's this directionless journey that is the worst part of this record. You need to have a point or some kind of vision but this album feels more like stumbling to find something. It doesn't help that the vocals are recorded so DIY that you often can't really make out what they are saying. Even though some of the lyrics are poignant and refined you never really get to hear them fully so who cares? You just keeping waiting for something to wow you, or something to really move you but it just never comes. Cranberry slowly fades away with a whimper leaving you confused and unsatisfied. Not exactly an ideal post-album position.
5.0 out of 10