New Release: Hovvdy – Junior Day League / Around Again

Photo Credit: Pooneh Ghana

Texas duo Hovvdy have shared a pair of new singles, “Junior Day League” and “Around Again,” today. The songs, written by the band’s Will Taylor, come with two music videos directed by Hayden Hubner and Adam Alonzo respectively.

Of the tracks Taylor says “Around Again lyrically shifts between big reflections and small memories. The simplicity of the music and words really helped define this song for me. I’m thankful to have had help from Charlie and Andrew expanding and finishing it. Junior Day League is about being in a daze on a fast day in a new town. Falling enamored with the people you’re with and the setting you’re in. Letting things move around you, rather than trying to control them.”

Last month, the band announced their new Andrew Sarlo (Bon Iver, Big Thief) co-produced album with its title track True Love – out October 1st on Grand Jury.

Last year, Charlie Martin impulsively wrote T-R-U-E L-O-V-E in all caps across the top of what would become the title track of his and Will Taylor’s fourth Hovvdy album. The on-the-nose instinct encapsulates the LP’s elemental look at relationships – familial, romantic, friendly – and that desire to capture them in a bottle. Since the creation of their last album, both Charlie and Will have married their partners. Will became a father.

A nod to their roots and a reach for more, True Love maturely embraces the best of the duo’s hyper-genuine, chin-up qualities developed over the past seven years. Charlie and Will first met at a baseball game while touring with other bands, both as drummers. Back home in Austin, the pair connected over shared sports-centric upbringings in Dallas and, most prominently, likeminded batches of solo songwriting. The interlocking tracks would become 2016 LP Taster, introducing a comforting sonic push-and-pull continued in the innate melodies of Cranberry (2018) and the propulsive storytelling of breakthrough Heavy Lifter (2019).

Fourth album True Love follows a surprisingly folksy and beautifully determined course, just hinting at the lo-fi layers of the Austin-based project’s DIY origins. Co-produced by the genre-morphing Andrew Sarlo (Nick Hakim, Big Thief, Bon Iver), the acoustically-driven, forward-looking songwriters’ statement stamps Hovvdy’s debut with Grand Jury Music.

Charlie and Will add: “This collection of songs feels to us like a return to form, writing and recording songs for ourselves and loved ones. Spending less energy consumed with how people may respond freed us up to put our efforts into creating an honest, heartfelt album.”

Throughout 2020, the band visited Sarlo’s small Los Angeles studio to put down their biggest-sounding record yet. Trusted guidance freed Charlie and Will to play to their strengths on essential elements – an upright piano, an acoustic guitar, a few keyboards. Songs harken to the duo’s Southern totems of Townes Van Zandt and Lucinda Williams, with longtime collaborator Ben Littlejohn adding pedal steel and dobro for subtle drawl. Will calls True Love “the other side of the coin” from past LP Heavy Lifter’s tweaked pop, reflecting instead on the sturdy strums of sophomore Cranberry.

“Sarlo heard things in our individual production styles that we might otherwise feel self-conscious about, but he would lean into them,” says Charlie. “We knew we could come in with a very stripped-down acoustic guitar song and it would end up being expansive and vast. I felt really confident in letting this record be as tender and beautiful as we could make it, knowing there would always be a layer of darkness in there.”

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