I love a good mystery – always have. It started when I was eight, with Encyclopedia Brown, and I’ve never looked back.
So, when my fellow lover of all things music and now friend Radio Potato posted her August Top 5 Songs, I was intrigued by the killer rock sounds of “Hemlock” by a band I didn’t know – Quiet Hounds. Just like a high school girl with a new crush, I obsessively went about trying to find more info on the band.
I was quickly stymied. They are all deviously masked in their PR photo. Their bio is a study in creative writing and the flowery language of vaguery – it gives nothing away about who these fellas are!
“The collective is one part prolific lyricist and melody writer, one part instrumental savant, one part curator of taste, music and culture and one part effortless precision of all things percussive. These creators need no credit other than the satisfaction that these songs take on lives of their own, sent into the ether to be played with the windows rolled down on warm sunny days.”
A mystery born. Encyclopedia Krissie on the case! A source close to the Atlanta-based band tells me “these guys are well known from other projects – and they want people to listen with fresh ears and not connect them with past work.” Very interesting, indeed!
One listen to their self-titled EP reveals that we’re not dealing with an ordinary band start up. These cats (or shall I say dogs? Seems kind of rude…) are obviously a talented bunch. Complex melodies, creative song structures, ridiculous drumming, chimes, keys, and absolutely gorgeous vocals.
The EP starts off with my favorite track – at least for right now – “Night Parade,” a deluge of tambourines, keys, snaps, and sweet harmonies enough to make any pop-lovin’ girl like me happy. But then it dives into the eerie jangle of “Hemlock” with frantic keyboards and fast-paced lyrics that make you feel like you’re running through the woods in a building horror movie until you get to the chorus, when you feel like you’ve come out at an abandoned castle and there’s a masked man standing in the middle courtyard singing for you and you alone (I swear, these are the images that run through my head when I listen to music!). And that’s how it goes for the whole EP – one unexpected transition to the next, from the hooky sing-along of “Southern Charm” with it’s “oooh oooh”s “and “heys,” to the alternating military precision and sweeping beauty of “Art of War,” it’s new discovery after new discovery.
These songs are so addictive. I’ve had the EP for three days, and I can’t stop listening to it. Yes, part of it is me trying to crack the case of who the band is, but the larger part is that the music is incredibly good. And different. And I find myself getting lost in the lyrics; as someone who wants to be a writer when she grows up, I do appreciate a good lyric, and these are exceptional.
The most amazing part? The songs were written and recorded in a two week span. TWO WEEKS!
These are not your average rock songs, kids . I highly recommend going to pick up the FREE EP. Like right now.
And while my inner sleuth really wants to know who these amazing musicians are to give them credit for making such a tremendous little EP, I’ll be content for these masked musical crusaders to stay behind the curtain if they keep making music like this.