Houndmouth hail from the lowland plains and farmlands of Indiana and Kentucky. Now for those that are imagining a quitely removed existence then let Matt Myers (guitar, vocals) put that to rest as he explains the band name origins and the noise they have to contend with when recording:
“We record at nighttime to get rid of all the noise during the day like sirens and car honks, but there are always these two dogs that the neighbors have that bark all night. We recorded a bunch of tracks and finally get one that we liked, but when we played it back Shane said, “It’s not gonna work, there’s too much houndmouth on this!” He was clearly drunk because no one would say “houndmouth.” Ever. Still, the rest of the group (sobriety aside) decided that they liked the unique charm of the name.”
‘Penitentiary‘ is the opening track of their new self-titled EP which is reminiscent of the Felice Brothers with Matt Myers taking lead vocals and the band providing some seriously sweet harmonies that would do ‘The Band’ proud as they sing ‘Come on down to the penitentiary…’ Our Love for this band is firmly bonded after hearing Katie Toupin take over vocals on ‘Houston Train‘, she puts her soul into it. There seems to be quite a few music journalists talking about back to basics recently, a desire to return to those guiding principles of bands that sprung from the likes of Laurel Canyon. Houndmouth are no exception, there is no gloss or overlaid electronic effects, this is sonically raw and soulful. One of the added virtues of the growth in unplugged sessions is you can quickly suss out whether a band can perform live as well as they can in the studio. Just watch the video of Houndmouth performing ‘Krampus’ below (The Irish Exit), I swear it is one of the best sessions I’ve heard in some time…spine-tingling stuff:
That session was a mellow version of ‘Krampus‘ compared to the EP version (listen to it below) which rides to an incredible keyboard crescendo as Katie Toupin belts out ‘I see the light, shining on me..’, but they still manage to make it equally original and dynamic in the intimate setting of that bar. The sentiment and emotion are there in equal doses, they are as potent grouped around the microphone as they are using all their energy to play to a large audience. The root of their success maybe lies in the fact that Katie Toupin and Matt Myers, the two lead vocalists, were once in a folk duo called The Saint James Hotel. There is no denying that their vocals and lead are intrinsic to the sound of the band but there is also a mutual chemistry going on that the addition of Shane Cody (Riffraff Revival) and Zak Appleby heighten with a bigger wall of sound, it just all fits and works perfectly!
It wouldn’t surprise me if Houndmouth rise to a greater UK prominence in the same way that Alabama Shakes did earlier this year who went on to play dates in the UK in March and May. They have already been chosen as Band of the Day last week by The Guardian newspaper so things are looking good.
We Love them and you’ll be able to hear them in our playlist from next week!
Houndmouth – Houston Train: UTOPiA Sessions SXSW 2012
Houndmouth will be released via Rough Trade Records on August 28th in the U.S. and August 27th in Europe.
Houndmouth Facebook Quote:
Did you know the Taj Mahal is open everyday of the week BUT Friday? The Taj…what a great place to play a show…on a Friday.
The EP was recorded in their self-built studio called ‘The Green House’ in Indiana.