Indie rock is running rampant? Well, we’re certainly hearing a lot more of it as we move into the 2010s. But even more rampant (and much more commonplace) is the recurrence of the indie folk subgenre. At this point, it seems, indie folk has become the go-to musical style for artists looking for ways into the industry, and they’ve more or less begun to blend together. While the bands undeniably sound fine, they all lay down the subtle guitars, smooth vocal gestures, and steady back beat just enough for their beautiful textures to eclipse the lyrically emotional plights of the artist creating them.
Not the case for Husky. Here’s a four-piece band from Melbourne, Australia who’s proven in just one album — entitled Forever So — that they’re in it to fulfill their own personal goals before anyone else’s. They revel in the fact that they have the control to direct our attention to their music, and it’s done so effortlessly. Every track on the album glistens with the assumed creative textures one would find on an articulate indie folk record, but with it comes the intimate touch of that artist’s hands. You know when listening to this record, Husky is right there beside you.
The first half of their debut record features quite a few bright and shining examples of the group’s talent. “History’s Door” has this pluckiness about it, and the supportive piano and bass arrangements help to fill out lead singer Husky Gawenda’s vocals. The production on “The Woods” is as equally titillating, with a nice and balanced construction that places the instruments within the context of Gawenda’s songwriting rather than overshadowing it.
“Hunter,” too, is perfectly splendid. A misty mountain of an indie folk song, its circular, almost phaser-like sonics — so inclined and focused — generate a kind of timelessness that most records can only attempt to capture. Gawenda and his crew craft one swoon of a song, but it’s also Gawenda’s inflections on specific lyrical cues that more than intrigue.
At thirteen songs ranging in length from four to five minutes each, the album does grow a bit tired toward its end. Not that any of the songwriting or deftness loses steam, but I wish Forever So had been a bit more tightly constructed and cut down as a whole. The album still provides some glowing tracks, and Husky is able to reach listeners on a personal level, from ear to mind with Forever So.
Husky is the first Australian band to be signed to Sub Pop Records, and after hearing Forever So, it’s easy to see how perfect a marriage it is. They join the same ranks as label mates The Shins and Fleet Foxes, sitting squarely in the middle of their own brands of indie and folk rock. It’s a sound debut from a band who’s only looking forward to deeper, even more personal reflections.
Forever So is available on July 10th from Sub Pop Records. You can catch Husky on tour throughout summer, with dates listed below.
Husky Tour Dates:
7/13 – Crescent Ballroom, Phoenix AZ*
7/14 – Soda Bar, San Diego CA
7/15 – Echo, Los Angeles CA*
7/17 – Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco CA*
7/19 – Mississippi Studios, Portland OR*
7/20 – Crocodile, The, Seattle WA*
7/23 – Festival Hall, West Melbourne Australia
7/25 – Horden Pavilion, Sydney Australia
7/29 – Splendour in the Grass Festival, Byron Bay Australia At Byron Bay Belongil Fields
8/14 – Schubas, Chicago IL
8/17 – World Cafe Live, Philadelphia PA
8/18 – Central Park Summer Stage , New York NY
8/21 – Joe’s Pub (NY), New York NY
8/24 – Crystal Ballroom, Portland OR
8/25 – Marymoor Park, Redmond WA
* w/ Shearwater