Saturday 20 July 2013

Riding Out The Dark - Not For The Long In The (Hounds)Tooth

Seven day working weeks can be sum-bitches. Actually, they are bitches pretty much every time. But you find ways to deal with them. This week, I managed to sneak in a couple of gigs, a graphic novel and lunch with a group of friends - plus this blog, which keeps me sane even as it sends me insane. Sometimes the smallest things truly are the best.

Tonight I am squirreled away in the office, and two new pieces of music are helping whittle away these dead hours. Firstly it was White Hills' new LP So You Are...So You'll Be; the second is Ride Out The Dark, the debut record for Portland's Houndstooth. These two albums are almost yin and yang; whilst So You Are... is all bluster and anachronistic, fried-out noise, Ride Out The Dark is a languid, dusky affair, spiked with the occasional barbed arpeggio that only serves to reaffirm the hazy comfort that Houndstooth dole out in liberal doses. Katie Bernstein's vocals swings from husky whimsy ('Thunder Runner') to more brooding, haunted fare ('Canary Island'), all the while imbuing the sun-bleached Americana with its own understated beauty. Nevertheless, it is the influences both old (Neil Young in particular works into John Gnorski's slightly off-kilter guitar ramblings) and new (I couldn't get the idea that I should be playing My Morning Jacket's seminal 2003 album It Still Moves as a companion piece out of my head the first few spins) that are effectively worn into these ten tracks - smooth sailing from here on out.

You can grab Ride Out The Dark from No Quarter Records.

Houndstooth - Canary Island

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