by Philip Moss
Albums are so often defined by their sound. A consistency that runs throughout, which makes it easy for fans and critics alike to pigeon hole. Hovvdy’s 2018 release, Cranberry, was a haze of lo-fi, self-recorded, minimal songs cast in black and white hues. For Heavy Lifter, the Austin duo enlisted Cranberry bassist, Ben Littlejohn, to take on the role of co-producer who gave the pair chance to focus more on the crafting of the songs.
Those songs are, indeed, the best of their career to date. The slacker vibes of Mr Lee make way for the pop punk melodies of Ruin (My Ride). The immediacy of the record’s best song, Cathedral, is offset by the big country harmonies of Lifted. While the Sparklehorse tape experiments and Daniel Johnson-evoking melody of TellmeI’masinger provides another tone change at the half way mark.
Indeed, Heavy Lifter refuses to follow a set path, but its beauty is in its eclectic meanderings and fondly told narratives, which still somehow managing to work as one. An absolutely addictive return.
Secret Meeting score: 87