Charlie Martin, one half of our very own Hovvdy, is set to release a deluxe edition of his 2021 debut solo album, Imaginary People, featuring 4 alternate piano versions of songs from the record. You’ll have to wait until October 7th for the full release (available digitally, on CD & cassette), but today, Martin shares “Swirl (Piano Version),” which stopped us in our tracks the first time we heard it.
“Piano was the first instrument I ever learned, but it still kinda scares me,” says Charlie. “Certain pianos sound so beautiful it’s hard to even approach them with a voice; and the one I recorded for Imaginary People is like that — this pristine Steinway from the 1930s — probably the most amazing instrument I’ve ever touched. When I found myself in Mississippi for the summer, where the piano lives, I immediately started on these new versions. So many of the songs on Imaginary People (like ‘Daisy’ and ‘June’) I wrote on piano, so it was exciting to focus on the heart of it, just piano and melody. And for other songs (like ‘Swirl’ and ‘Madison’) it was a joy to reimagine them entirely.”
Charlie has also announced a fall tour with Ichiko Aoba and is currently on tour with Teethe. All dates over in our tour section now.
Hovvdy’s 2021 album True Love is one of the records we’re most proud to bear the Grand Jury logo. So when Will & Charlie turned in the songs that would become their new EP billboard for my feelings, our minds were sort of blown. How could they have done it again? How could they craft a collection of songs that gels so effortlessly and bubbles with so much life, all while simultaneously making the hazy masterwork they’d release last October. By now we should just expect it from them. Here’s a full EP we made while we made our best record ever. Sure…
The band has been releasing each single from the short-player along the way, but today you can listen in context. And see what we mean about the gel. A Boone Patrello music video for “Ruby” arrives today as well. billboard for my feelings is available everywhere you stream music now.
Next week the band sets out on the second US leg of their True Love tour. Tickets are getting low in a lot of markets (Austin is already sold out), so snag yours now.
The writing sessions for True Love were prolific before Hovvdy’s Will Taylor and Charlie Martin whittled things down to a hazy, warmcore nucleus. Several of the band’s strongest songs ever fell off the sequence for the 2021 breakthrough for the simple fact that they didn’t find a spot on the meticulous tracklist. Fast forward to last winter when the band realized many of the songs that had been stashed away hung together to form another cohesive statement: billboard for my feelings, a new Hovvdy EP coming May 27th.
Some of Taylor and Martin’s most upbeat and vibrant writing can be found across the short-player’s four tracks. You’ve already heard the propulsive “Everything” and the clattering “Town,” and today you can hear “Hide,” a swimmy swayer of smiling indie pop. To mark the occasion the band has shared a music video. Like “Everything” and “Town” before it, this one was directed by Boone Patrello.
Like True Love before it, the EP was co-produced by the band and Andrew Sarlo. It’s arrive amidst the band’s North American tour. Their life affirming live show, that has included sell out shows in New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Austin, London, Nashville and Toronto is not to be missed. Tickets are on sale now over in the tour section.
Hovvdy return today with their new single “Town.” The track, co-produced by the band and Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Bon Iver, Dijon), was written following their 2021 breakthrough True Love. It comes quickly on the heels of last month’s surprise single “Everything,” written by the Will Taylor half of Hovvdy.
“Writing and recording ‘Town’ helped me break out of a relatively dark place,” says Charlie Martin (who wrote this one). “There was catharsis in almost every layer — I remember crying recording the mellotron flutes. I’m not sure why, but with ‘Town’ I wanted the instrumental to do the heavy lifting, leaning less on storytelling. In that way, the song’s meaning isn’t terribly specific, but for me it’s about missing your friends and hoping they miss you.”
Next week the band embarks on a full US tour with support from Molly Parden and Mini Trees. Tickets are on sale now via hovvdy.com/tour.
Today, Hovvdy – the unstoppable Will Taylor and Charlie Martin – share a music video for the new single that arrived last night, “Everything,” directed by Boone Patrello. The track, co-produced by the band and Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Bon Iver, Dijon), was written during the sessions for their 2021 breakthrough album True Love. “‘Everything’ is a song about having fun even when you miss the mark,” says Will Taylor, who wrote this one.
The brighter, more uptempo spark of “Everything” kept the song from fitting alongside its more subdued counterparts on True Love. Instead, with a skittering banjo over a propulsive drum machine loop and layered vocals, it sounds more like a spiritual successor to the pre-True Love singles “Runner” & “I’m Sorry.”
The band is currently making their debut appearance in London, playing a pair of sold out shows. The first took place last night at Rough Trade West, the second is set for tonight at a capacity Omeara. Next month the band embarks on a full US tour with support from Molly Parden and Mini Trees. Tickets are on sale now over on their website.
True Love is the perfect title for the latest album from Hovvdy, available everywhere today.
It’s a record filled with hope, radiating the kind of warmth you feel when the sun peeks out from behind the early October clouds. It’s a distillate of so many emotions. Simple and pure. With the support of Andrew Sarlo, who co-produced, the duo of Charlie Martin & Will Taylor has expanded their once-bedroom-sized vision to near-panoramic proportions. You will love this record, and it will love you back.
Earlier this week the band shared, “Blindsided,” a perfect encapsulation of what makes the band and album so great. It also contains the incredibly evocative line “cold Bud in a Solo cup” which makes us already miss summer and the south and summer in the south. The music video above was directed by Hayden Hubner.
In other news, while they’re currently trekking across the US with fellow Austinite Dayglow (tickets for the handful of not sold out shows in the tour section), the band announced a run of dates throughout the globe for 2022. Flyer, designed by True Love collaborator Bradley Pinkerton, is below. All dates on sale now! Hovvdy season has arrived.
More True Love from Hovvdy today with a pair of Will-penned beauties: the soft-spoken “Around Again” & propulsive “Junior Day League.” The double-single gets a pair of music videos today as well, with “Around Again” set to an Adam Alonzo fairground rumination (above), and the Hayden Hubner directed clip for “Junior Day League” capturing all the feels of a fast day in a slow town (below). Stream/save them here.
The songs are from the forthcoming full-length True Love, out October 1st and available for pre-order now. The double single also comes with the welcome news that folks who weren’t able to get a ticket at one of the band’s intimate NY/LA/Austin release shows in October will now be able to stream the set from Gold Diggers. Get tickets for stream access here.
We’ve been fans of Austin’s Hovvdy for years now — from the lo-fi hush of 2017’s Taster, to the gentle grandeur that animated 2019’s Heavy Lifter, to the triumphant arrival of last year’s “Runner” & “I’m Sorry” singles. So it’s a massive honor to be able to announce that we’ll be releasing their new album, True Love, on October 1st.
Recorded alongside Andrew Sarlo over winter 2020 in his LA studio, the album finds the songwriting force of Will Taylor and Charlie Martin at a creative peak. Building on the acoustic leanings of past material while incorporating the more lush studio finish of their 2020 singles, the title-track released earlier today heralds the arrival of the new record. It’s paired with the above music video directed by Dreamer Boy collaborator Adam Alonzo. Baseball, ATVs, fishing? It packages so many tiny pieces of Americana & nostalgia into its 4 minute runtime, a practice Hovvdy themselves have been perfecting for half a decade.
True Love is available for pre-order today. You can get the 12″ on an assortment of limited edition colors, all linked below – coke bottle clear in the band’s webstore & Bandcamp, hot pink at your local indie record shop, cobalt blue via the band’s hometown Austin retailers, and turquoise marble coming to the Vinyl Me Please shop tomorrow afternoon. Also available on a limited edition cassette, along with standard compact disc & trusty black 12″ at Amazon now. The artwork for the album was shepherded by Bradley Pinkerton, whose work you’ll recognize from Runner & I’m Sorry, along with releases from a wide array of artists that manages to include both Harry Styles & Girlpool!
Early birds in Austin were treated to a preview of “True Love” this morning, when KUTX spun the song. And, to celebrate, Austin indie retailers have been giving away free cassette singles of “True Love” since their doors opened this morning. The three Austin shops where you can find them are below. Only 50 in each, and they’re first-come-first-served, so act fast!
Waterloo – 600 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703 End of An Ear – 4304 Clawson Rd, Austin, TX 78704 Antone’s – 2928 Guadalupe St #101, Austin, TX 78705
And last but not least, while more touring is certainly on the horizon for 2022, the band has arranged a handful of intimate release shows in LA, NY & Austin in October. Cozy rooms befitting of this beautiful record, so tickets won’t be around forever once available this Friday!