Shards of guitar feedback awaken a sultry beat as we sink into the cushy rhythm of “Flowers,” the new single from indie rock crew Happy, Hollow. The jingle of the strings is reminiscent of The La’s, but there’s no question as to the originality of their melodic flow. For first-time Happy, Hollow listeners, “Flowers” encapsulates what this band is steadily building a reputation on: quaint harmonies, big grooves and relatable lyrics that don’t depend on the typical enigmas that have become all too common in contemporary pop music. Having heard all of the buzz surrounding its release, I wasn’t sure what I was going to come in contact with in this single, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a track and music video that definitely don’t blend into the Austin crowd from which they were spawned.
The energy that the band brings to the video is utterly contagious, and I would even go as far as to say that the uplifting nature of their performance is probably what makes it such an intriguing watch time and time again. No one in the mainstream is making simple videos like this anymore; all summer long, I’ve seen countless instances where bands were throwing so many props and surreal concepts into a single video that it became difficult to focus on the music that inspired it. The barebones style that Happy, Hollow are going for here is extremely refreshing to find this season, and I hope to see their peers follow suit in their own work in the months and years to come.
OFFICIAL VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnLisQcKQDE
At the end of the song, we run into a vocal harmony that seems a little retro for this particular setting, but it doesn’t feel out of place in the big picture of the track at all. There’s an eclecticism to this single that lies beneath the surface of the power pop hooks and the fluidity of the lyrics, and it’s something that I would really like to see Happy, Hollow try to experiment with in their next trip to the recording studio. There are still areas of their sound that have yet to be fully exploited, and personally I think that we’ll know more about their artistic identity after they finally release a complete LP of material that can be broken down more carefully.
I hadn’t heard much of Happy, Hollow’s work before catching a glimpse of the video for “Flowers” just recently, but you can bet that I’m going to be following their progress from here on out. They’re close to breaking through in this track, and taking into account the current climate in American alternative music, it couldn’t be a better time for their work to be maturing the way it is here. As they look towards 2020, Happy, Hollow have got a lot of different ways that they can shape their persona, but I think that it would best for them to remain focused on making tightly-wound pop/rock that puts more stock in melodicism than it does in bloated virtuosities that, to be frank, went out of style over a decade ago. These players don’t strike me as the type to recreate the past, and anyone who hears “Flowers” this summer will likely agree with me.