There's something vaguely new wave-y about the music on the new album from Slow Hollows. Romantic, out yesterday on Danger Collective Records, is the sort of pleasant surprise that my listening week needed. Superbly performed, highly melodic music of this kind is something to be applauded.
Opener "Spirit Week" is more Japan than anything else, while "Again" offers up the sort of indie last heard on 2015's fine Gardens and Villa album. It's a bit retro and also contemporary. At their best, this outfit produce tunes that range from the supple "Easy" to the more varied, Roxy Music-tinged "Softer", the cuts here revealing a whole set of worthy influences from the last few decades. That front-man Austin Feinstein can lead this group to so successfully absorb those influences in the service of producing music this easy to enjoy and absorb is another reason to praise what's on Romantic. If one can hear a bit of Radiohead in the awkwardly-titled "Luxury of Lull", and a trace of Pavement in the title cut, it's something wholly original that we hear in the chiming "Last Dance", part Ed Harcourt, part Nineties guitar-based indie.
The songs on Romantic from Slow Hollows are all brisk, economical examples of how to successfully meld a few disparate strains of New Wave and modern indie. Lean and lyrical, the tracks here are all uniformly excellent and memorable, no mean feat given what passes for alt-rock these days.
[Photo: Riley Donahue]