Today I have the great privilege of covering a band which I was mildly obsessed with in college and never got over. I would spend Thursday evenings trawling through YouTube videos taken in Brighton music venues and wishing that they would just make an album already. House of Hats began as some friends in some bands who eventually came to their senses and wove themselves into their very own basket of harmonies and poetry. They’re folky and bluesy and organic. Their most stunning and distinct feature is that three of the four band members sing together, crafting beautiful layers dripping with honey like baklava. You should fall far and fast in love with them like I did. “This Love” is their debut album, finally available for your enjoyment with no YouTube trawling required.
The title track begins with visions of grand landscapes. This is what our love can be, the lovers say. It needs to be built and grown. It must be strengthened, we can always do better. “Someday I’ll love you better. Someday I’ll make you proud.”
The tune drifts into a minor key for the transition to “Close to Me” the song is simple, only accompanied by some acoustic guitar sounds and tambourine, but the orchestral quality of the voices and music of the lyrics themselves do not need to be carried. They are strong and beautiful and stand on their own. I love that this band sings together. It makes them so uniquely beautiful.
“Right Behind You” begins with accordion. I am a sucker for uncommonly used instruments and female voices. This song has both. It also has both the feel of walking along a river through an old stone city in France or Greece or somewhere, and strolling through a cotton field barefoot, pulling off one of the fibrous puffs and letting it drift toward the sunset. Simplicity, charm, elegance, and earthiness.
“Wonderland” begins briskly. “Take me back again. Take me to wonderland.” The words begin nostalgically. The guitar is bright and gentle. There is love, confusion, and determination. “I’ve been savin’ up to build a boat of my own. So I’ll be sailin’ back, yes, I’ll be sailin’ back to my home.” Don’t we all wish that we could live in our wonderlands? Mine is filled with sweet, sexy harmonies like these.
I am having a dinner party on Wednesday and this album will be the soundtrack because I am a show off. Go check out House of Hats, find your own Wonderland of majesty and harmonies. Download their free single, and love it so much, and buy the entire album. Please. If you’re in the Brighton, UK area, go see them live, they play often and I’m sure that it is a great show, they are also playing shows in Holland and the USA!