This is not a soft album by any means. Although most of the songs take a minimalist approach to the instrumentals and even drop out completely at times letting the vocal work shine, everything is used expertly and sounds loud and boastful. Everything accents everything else creating their cohesive sound. It's especially apparent on the song called Best Intentions where there's just a constant stream of vocals carrying a nice melody, while the guitar, bass, and drums ebb and flow, reaching a peak towards the end. If the lyrics don't get you feeling emotional the instrumental arrangements sure will.
Lyrically the album deals with issues of love, loss, depression, and hope. Vocalist/songwriter Matthew Smith has really bared his soul on this album (maybe even more so than on United By Birdcalls) and it hits hard. For anyone suffering with clinical depression, anxiety, inner demons, or general life pains the lyrics will feel all too real and familiar. This is all punctuated by his potent and robust voice that carries the songs.
Hodera have released a follow up that somehow managed to defy my expectations and turn everything up to eleven. Emotionally relatable and destructive, memorable, and haunting all at the same time. I was worried that they wouldn't be able to live up to the expectations they set for themselves with their debut but they not only hit that bar they have leaped over it and to the moon. Is this possibly one of the best albums this year? I won't even hesitate to say yes. There's not a single bad song on this album nor mediocre. Some may resonate more or stay with you longer but none will disappoint or leave you wanting. The album will leave you wanting to hear more songs from a band that seemingly does no wrong, once you're done crying over this album of course.
Out Now from Take This To Heart Records
Take This To Heart