Houndmouth | From the Hills Below the City

I just heard about Katie Toupin leaving Houndmouth and I gotta say, I’m pretty bummed.  I mean, I’m not devastated. I just started listening to them a couple months ago and its not like she’s dead. But her presence in this band, especially her soulful voice will be missed.  Apparently she’s going to go make her own music, and while I get the desire to do so…couldn’t she just do a side project? Keep the band together for the kids! I don’t know, maybe the guys in the band are all assholes and its hard to get a word in, let alone your song ideas.  You know, the kind of stuff all women have to deal with. Sorry for my gender.  Ah well, maybe there will be a reunion tour in a few years.

I hope they do tour again in the future because I’m selfish and I haven’t got a chance to see them live.  Couldn’t Katie have waited until after September to leave? Shit. They look like a great act to see live. Hell they even cover “Run Around Sue” way better than me and my high school friends singing it at karaoke which is quite an impressive feat.  I don’t know how the band will continue to sound the same. Sure there still have 3 musicians who can sing and some unexpectedly great guitar playing, but its not going to have the same feel as the band with Katie.  They will find someone else to play keys, maybe even a women to fill in for her vocal parts, but it will be a tough job to replace.

I’ve been listening to Houndmouth’s first album, From the Hills Below the City, all week to reinforce the loss. I think it’s as good as their follow up that I wrote album last month, Little Neon Limelight. It’s that same mix of country, indie rock, and fun as hell rock n roll. Seriously I don’t know how hearing “On the Road” doesn’t put a smile on your face.  It’s sad that we might never hear Katie’s impressive southern drawl (even though she’s from Indiana?) playing against Matt Myers’ solos again like we do on “Casino (Bad Things)”. No more M/F harmonizing like “Ludlow”, ” Krampus”, “Long As You’re at Home”, pretty much every damn track.  I like the songs with bassist Zak Appleby on lead vocals: “Hey Rose” is one my favorite Houndmouth songs. And I’d guess Katie’s departure will lead to him getting more run on their next album, but even his songs are improved by her backing vocals. I’ll still check out whatever the band does next and I’ll watch out for Katie’s next project, but I’m skeptical that I will like anything as much as these two albums.

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I'm nothing. Maybe less than nothing. I also write.