29 May, 2013 in Music Reviews
The Hush Now provide a very worthy addition to the canon of creatively curious emo with the rather fine ‘Memos’
early ten years ago, Pitchfork ran a feature naming their Top 100 albums from the 90s. The Dismemberment Plan’s Emergency And I had been released only the previous year but found itself sitting proudly and deservedly at No 16 in the list (just one place lower than Radiohead’s The Bends). Some 14 years on and the influence of that album, with its electronic-tinged and indie-pop influenced emo, still looms large. It’s an influence that is both felt and expanded by The Hush Now, who add the piano-driven songwriting of Ben Folds Five to the mix.
The aforementioned nod to Ben Folds Five comes into focus on album opener Arkansas. The Hush Now aren’t limited though to just this addition to the emo format. Memos, which has a superb intro, brings to mind alt indie-folkers Dry The River and even has a little of The Smiths’ longing, melodic sensibility. The Glow starts with a synth line that recalls Nelly’s Hot In Herre, before throwing in guitars that ring like Bob Mould’s Sugar. It shouldn’t work, but does with real aplomb. Pete’s Best sounds a little like Sunny Day Real Estate’s excellent How It Feels To Be Something On.
The oddest musical resemblance, though, is the vocal similarity to Michael Buble. Yes, you read right, Michael Buble! Even when you think Memos has struck the wrong chord you’re proved wrong. Such as on Cameraphone, whose slightly middling first 90 per cent is saved by a fantastic outro.
Emergency And I was a groundbreaking release that brought emo jolting and weeping into the next stage of its development. While it would be premature to suggest that **Memos will provide the same creative boost to the genre, it’s certainly an artistically interesting addition to the canon.
Verdict: Emo meets Ben Folds Five