Sup, folks! I hope the weekend is going well for all of you beautimous ones! The selection for today is an experimental indie band hailing originally from Philadelphia, Hands, and their debut LP Synesthesia. I shall now proceed to warm you up, as it were, with the following Album Trailer:
Created in what appears to be a small cabin-turned-studio replete with drawings of Abraham Lincoln, old photographs, and vintage movie posters, Synesthesia is as indie as indie gets. Hands, made up of members Geoff Halliday (vocals and keyboards), Ryan Sweeney (guitar), Alex Staniloff (bass), and Sean Hess (drums), has an eclectic sound, at once possessing the grittyness of rock, the groove of pop, and the effervescence of electronic music. The debut album is certainly never dull and is an overall enjoyable listen. “Trouble,” the first track, sets the groove with dancey bass lines, a catchy chorus, and a rocktastic guitar riff. Definitely an earworm!
The second track, “Videolove,” builds on the momentum of “Trouble,” with an ethereal array of sound-effects, before moving into a steadily rocking rhythm and another super catchy chorus (“video love, video love, video love…”). The layered vocal lines and Halliday’s passionate voice leave a strong first impression of the album.
The following three tracks continue to pile on the fun. “Elegant Road” makes ample use of poppy synths, driving drum beats, and cryptic lyrics, building us up for “Brave Motion” and “The Game is Changing Us.” “Brave Motion” ups the tempo and brings in prominent piano lines with infectious grooves and singalong lyrics (“And it makes no sense, makes no sense, makes no sense, makes no sense, you’re in love again”). Plus there’s a super-weird music video to go along with it:
“The Game is Changing Us” is equally infectious, with bright synth lines, groovy bass, and guitar solos. Thus concludes the first half of the album, which is a lot for the second half to live up to. The final five songs are pleasant and creative, just as the first five, but they don’t quite reach the same level.
In all, the album is full of energy, creativity, and joy. Hands has a unique sound, so it’s no surprise they’ve played for packed crowds all over LA and as openers for DeVotchKa, Foster The People, and Deerhoof. This is a promising debut LP for Hands, and I look forward to seeing what they do next. Support Hands here if you like what you’ve heard!