Album Review: House Of Hats – This Love

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Recently billed as a younger Crosby, Stills and Nash by Q Magazine, and currently winning over audiences with their ‘stunning’ live shows, House of Hats are slowly carving out a musical niche for themselves.

This Love is the first full length release from the Brighton band. An optimistic, hopeful embrace of life – it’s a delight to listen to. Outstanding vocals, lush harmonies, blended together like some delicious musical milkshake, the songs weave deftly and gently.

The eleven songs featured are sweet, breathy explorations of mixed feelings. They speak of love, fear, doubt, and largely – hope. Hope is a tricky emotion to convey effectively, without seeming fake, or clichéd. Yet each of these songs feels truly hopeful, in a beautifully innocent way. Almost as if you’ve set sail in a boat across the ocean, with lilting guitars strumming as you’re staring up at a sky of endless possibilities…

Elements of different genres bubble up from time to time, illustrating the collaborative nature of the 4 piece (the album features guitars, banjos, ukuleles, and other percussive sounds).  All vocalists have previously been lead singers in their own right, and each brings something different. This diversity turns the final sound into an intriguing mix of (modern and traditional) folk, pop, with a country sensibility that shines through the well crafted songs.

King Of The Average Pace is one of those songs that gets catchier with each listen. A happy go lucky lament to the endless busy chaos of modern life. The video for it featured a slow dancing couple picking their own speed as the band played the lively, almost jig-like tune in the background. This sums up their music perfectly. A time-out tonic to the relentless 24/7 of 21st century existence.

This Love documents a talented band developing a uniquely distinctive and delicate sound, that is really easy to listen to – which isn’t bad! It hints at even greater things for whatever is coming next. With a handful of shows over the next few months, and several festival appearances in the summer, it’d be worthwhile to try and catch them now. So you can say you were there in the beginning.

Rachel Donnelly