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rewind: Taster - Hovvdy

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rewind takes you back to a previously released album that we don't want you to miss. 

words: Sean Deveny

When I first listened to Hovvdy, it was during the winter. It was freezing and dark, and I remember putting on Taster in the car while driving home from work. It has a lonely, disconnected sound that’s really chill and great for driving.

After returning to it recently, that feeling immediately came back to me, even though the cold of winter months have long been gone, and I'm no longer driving home at night after working in a burrito shop. Taster, however, is still fantastic and pulled me, even amidst the warmth of summer.

“Better” begins the album, setting an extremely relaxed tone. It feels almost as if the album itself is waking up, letting you know the general feeling throughout your listen is going to be similar. It starts to take on more life as “Problem” follows with a steady rhythm and quiet riffs that get louder toward the end. Vocals sometime near a whisper, adding to the withdrawn feeling, as do the lyrics: “I’ll walk you home. You say you’re tired of talking to people you don’t know. Feet on the concrete we’re weighing on.”

“Try Hard” is particularly good for driving not just because the first line is “drive your car around the block and tell me lies” but also because there’s a forward-moving mood to it that then slows down as if the song has reached its destination. There have been two moments when this song comes on as I pulled into the driveway, slowing down along with my ride. In moments like that, it feels like Hovvdy is the official soundtrack to my life, and only deepens my connection to the album.

“Pretend” is reflective in the lyrics and in the lonely sound of slow drums that create space for quiet thought. “Friend” immediately follows and picks the pace back up while still retaining a similar sense of reflection with lyrics like “Over years we did not talk too much. I could not bring myself to see the dark you felt around you and why would I when all we can do is make it along alright, it’s nice.”

As “Left Out” closes the album with slow strumming and a simple drum beat, it becomes clear why Taster resonates with me no matter what time of year it is. The feeling of isolation I came to associate the album with in the winter is really not that different from the isolation of the summer. The weather may be drastically different now, but people are still cooped up in their own worlds, experiencing moments of quiet reflection, maybe even as they drive their car around the block one more time in the lonely summer heat.

Taster is out now on DDW.

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