Houndmouth | Little Neon Limelight

Prince is gone. Just the other day I was laughing about that candid photo taken of him on a bicycle.  And the week before about his basketball playing on Chappelle’s Show.  Yeah, I’m pretty sure it was really him. Especially since moving to Minnesota I feel like Prince comes up in my life pretty frequently. Which is weird since I can’t remember the last time that I actually listened to his music. Not to take anything away from him: he was wildly creative and an underrated guitar player, and he probably has more unreleased great albums in his personal vault than most artists will ever create. Sure I’ll still rock out to “Let’s Go Crazy” when I come upon it and I’ll probably get drunk and watch youtube clips of him shredding it live as soon as tonight.  But I’m not going to spend the rest of this week listening to his entire catalog or anything. Still, respect and rest in peace, Prince.

Who I actually wanted to draw attention to this week is the band Houndmouth. They’ve been kicking around for a few years and had moderate success with their single “Sedona”, but I failed to get into them into recently. But this week I’ve been listening to their album Little Neon Limelight a lot.  For those not familiar about half of it is folky-americana-pop like The Head & the Heart, including the alternating and/or harmonizing male-female vocals.  Katie Toupin (who also plays keys) actually sounds a little like Charity from H&tH.  The other half of the album is pretty similar to the more rocking sound of The Districts.  Why would you know those other two bands and not Houndmouth? I have no idea and this whole writing exercise is probably a waste of time,

But screw it. A song like “Say It” really reminds me of The Districts so all I can tell you is if you like one, try the other. Musically and vocally the uptempo rock songs like it balance out the slower District-y songs like “Darlin'” as well as the folk-poppier, Head and the Heartier songs like “Otis” pretty well throughout the album. Before “Darlin” closes the record out with some pretty little licks there are solid tracks for everyone. “15 Years” is a fun old school rock n roll number that steals woo’s from Jerry Lee Lewis, guitar from Chuck Berry/Michael J. Fox, and backing vocals that could be Dolly Parton. Yeah, there’s a lot to unpack there. There are a few tracks like “For No One” where they rely more on acoustic, vocals, and pain, if you are into that sort of thing too.  But my favorite is “Honey Slider” a song that has that built in sense of nostalgia baked into its sound like “Tuesdays Gone” or “Wild Horses” has.  Unfortunately, none of the tracks sound like Prince, but it’s what I’ve been listening to all week and I haven’t been disappointed. That’s all I got. Game…Blouses.

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