Operation Every Band

Hozier – “Take Me To Church”


Pairs Well With…James Vincent McMorrow, James Blake, Jeff Buckley


Hozier’s epic “Take Me To Church” has been buzzing for months now and it’s easy to figure out why. Seconds into the track, Irish singer-songwriter Hozier pulls off a sick vocal run over dark, shaded piano chords. It’s R&B from a singer-songwriter angle, roots from a sexy future. Hozier incorporates a lot of gospel into sound in unexpected ways, best shown in the stomping “Angel of Small Death & The Codeine Scene”. In fact, the three studio tracks on Hozier’s debut EP are coming from three very distinct places (add the soft folk ballad “Like Real People Do”), but the whole is grounded with Hozier’s weapon of a voice. Mostly soft-spoken, but able to wow with emotional melodies (I get a little Elton John in my ears), Hozier is the real deal and deserves the expected trajectory leading right through SXSW this year.

SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 66

That’s what I’m talking about.  This morning’s set is huge, eclectic and loaded with OEB highlights:

Hospitality (9) - The electronic rock ballad “Inauguration” leads right into the synth-driven “Rockets and Jets”, another adventurous, section-by-section grabber.  I’m looking forward to spending more time with the record, but already I’m more into this Hospitality than their 2012 debut – a splendid evolution.
Hozier (9) - It’s R&B from a singer-songwriter angle, roots from a sexy future.  Hozier incorporates a lot of gospel into sound in unexpected ways, best shown in the stomping “Angel of Small Death & The Codeine Scene”.
Humming House (7) - It’s a really accessible sound, more pretty than raw, but firmly rooted for an experienced ear.  One of the hallmarks of Humming House takes sound from other parts of the world than Delta swamps and Southern plains, especially the hints of Irish folk that creeps splendidly into a few of the band’s songs.
Hunter Hunted (7) - It’s go big or go home with the grandiose pop tone of Hunter Hunted.  Upbeat electronic pop-rock in it’s finest form – Hunter Hunted will have you humming along thirty seconds into any of the five tracks that make up their 2013 debut EP.
Hospital Ships (6) – Experimental rock artists Hospital Ships follow closely in the tradition of their namesake (The Flaming Lips’ “The Abandoned Hospital Ship), twisting pop hooks into a psychedelic swirl.  As expected, this level of openness is a plus/minus affair, but look out for last year’s “Come Back to Life”, a building saga that works on every level.
Hot 8 Brass Band (6) – New Orleans is parading to SXSW this year with the Hot 8 Brass Band, a long-time collective that is all about rhythm, energy and killer horn solos.  The band covers a wide range of territory on 2012’s The Life and Times Of…, a break from the traditional while still remaining 100% true to their hometown’s sound.
HVOB (6) – The mix of down tempo beats and ghostly vocals is an entrancing listen on HVOB’s latest EP Lion.  It’s a dance record by definition of the beats, but the patient nature of HVOB’s music takes it into headier realms.
Ian McLagen (5) – Faces’ keyboardist Ian McLagen relocated to Austin a few years back, so the appearance at SXSW should be a comfortable setting to work through his now-extensive catalog.  There’s a 60s/70s pop-rock tone that resides over McLagen’s sound, a classic and familiar sound.

SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 66


That’s what I’m talking about. This morning’s set is huge, eclectic and loaded with OEB highlights:


Hospitality (9) - The electronic rock ballad “Inauguration” leads right into the synth-driven “Rockets and Jets”, another adventurous, section-by-section grabber. I’m looking forward to spending more time with the record, but already I’m more into this Hospitality than their 2012 debut – a splendid evolution.

Hozier (9) - It’s R&B from a singer-songwriter angle, roots from a sexy future. Hozier incorporates a lot of gospel into sound in unexpected ways, best shown in the stomping “Angel of Small Death & The Codeine Scene”.

Humming House (7) - It’s a really accessible sound, more pretty than raw, but firmly rooted for an experienced ear. One of the hallmarks of Humming House takes sound from other parts of the world than Delta swamps and Southern plains, especially the hints of Irish folk that creeps splendidly into a few of the band’s songs.

Hunter Hunted (7) - It’s go big or go home with the grandiose pop tone of Hunter Hunted. Upbeat electronic pop-rock in it’s finest form – Hunter Hunted will have you humming along thirty seconds into any of the five tracks that make up their 2013 debut EP.

Hospital Ships (6) – Experimental rock artists Hospital Ships follow closely in the tradition of their namesake (The Flaming Lips’ “The Abandoned Hospital Ship), twisting pop hooks into a psychedelic swirl. As expected, this level of openness is a plus/minus affair, but look out for last year’s “Come Back to Life”, a building saga that works on every level.

Hot 8 Brass Band (6) – New Orleans is parading to SXSW this year with the Hot 8 Brass Band, a long-time collective that is all about rhythm, energy and killer horn solos. The band covers a wide range of territory on 2012’s The Life and Times Of…, a break from the traditional while still remaining 100% true to their hometown’s sound.

HVOB (6) – The mix of down tempo beats and ghostly vocals is an entrancing listen on HVOB’s latest EP Lion. It’s a dance record by definition of the beats, but the patient nature of HVOB’s music takes it into headier realms.

Ian McLagen (5) – Faces’ keyboardist Ian McLagen relocated to Austin a few years back, so the appearance at SXSW should be a comfortable setting to work through his now-extensive catalog. There’s a 60s/70s pop-rock tone that resides over McLagen’s sound, a classic and familiar sound.