Houndmouth: From The Hills Below The City
Located at the widest point of the Ohio River, New Albany – the northern neighbor of Louisville, which looms just across the water – is a town where traces of other places literally flow into the same basin. It’s a midwestern location with southern roots, a melting pot of big-city influence and small-town mentality. For some, a city like New Albany is depressing, a sad example of what happens when one town lives in the permanent shadow of its bigger, wealthier cousin next door. For residents like the four members of Houndmouth, though, it’s a ragtag muse, a soundtrack where the far-flung sounds of southern folk, urban soul, rust belt blues and heartland rock and roll mix.
Variety is the name of the game on Houndmouth’s debut LP, From The Hills Below The City. At its most basic level, this is a rambling, rootsy album, one that channels the earthy influence of Bob Dylan and the Band. Southern accents and coed harmonies are stacked onto a base of acoustic twang and electric fuzz. Southbound trains, sugar mamas and slow-moving towns fill the lyrics. Some songs lope; others blow the gates open at a full-speed gallop. You may not be able to hear the presence of trucker hats, flannel shirts and cowboy boots, but you know they’re there, cloaking the band in scruffy swirls of Americana atmospherics.
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