Artist Of the Month: Houndmouth
I fondly remember the sense of exploring the future via the mid-century modern prism of Epcot Center in Orlando, FL as a child. My parents would load us in the suburban spaceship aptly named Chevy Astro at the break of dawn for a long day exploring the educational rides of Epcot which fascinated me more than the thrills of Space Mountain at the theme park next door. It is these memories that came back to me when listening to Houndmouth’s adventurous new album The Golden Age which represents one small step for rock-n-roll and one giant leap for the band.
Steeped in a retro-future nostalgia for what lies behind us and in front of us, the band deftly incorporates a menagerie of new noises into their country-tinged rock sound; imagine Band Of Horses and Joywave jamming together. Once miscast as members of the new class of Americana revivalists, Houndmouth were always a rock-n-roll band at heart, tilling the rich soil once cultivated by The Band and Bruce Springsteen. Following the lead of modern pioneers such as Wilco and The War On Drugs, The Golden Age brings a classic sensibility to the unlimited sonic toolbox of today. The resulting album threatens to alienate the overly serious manicured beards of the alt-folk scene but the band’s playfulness makes for a perfectly weird rock-n-roll album.
While the influences are almost intentionally left bubbling near the surface in today’s music, Houndmouth take a carefree approach to what they do. The electro-pulse of “This Party” creates a dance anthem for those who yearn to break free of a homogenized music scene that continues to re-arrange the same festival poster year after year. The album’s title song cleverly recreates the shifting speed of a warped cassette to symbolize the band’s awareness of yesterday’s innocence and how we traded it all away for a million songs on every phone and unlimited data plans. Embracing the potential of the modern age while yearning for a golden age that may be left behind forever, Houndmouth have given us the first chapter in a rock-n-roll book that the next generation has yet to write.