Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
Going on a third year now, I receive new music on a near-annual basis from Hooyoosay, a bubbly pop rock outfit with a penchant for infectiously catchy melodies and jingling soundscapes chock-full of synthesizers and vocal harmonies. The project is especially interesting because the band doesn’t offer their names publicly; they want their music to speak for itself. They’ve got a new EP out now, ‘Mountain Air.’ How does it stack up against their previous work? Let’s find out!
As per usual, ‘Mountain Air’ is immediately a whole lot of fun. The EP opens up with its titular single, a tune about leaving the house and enjoying the great outdoors. It’ll do you good, Hooyoosay argues, and the track is joyfully catchy. As a Colorado native, ‘Mountain Air’ resonates with me powerfully, because some good, clean mountain air is often what the soul needs.
The second track on the EP, ‘My Lucky Dream Day,’ is a punchy instrumental piece that’s quite lovely. It’s noninvasive, as Hooyoosay’s music often is, and could certainly score the background of just about any task. It’s excellent atmosphere music. On a deeper level, though, the instrumental performances are rather excellent with bantering electronic organs and jangling electric guitars. It’s superb fun.
‘Done Our Best,’ another original track on the EP, has loose reggae and island vibes, like much of Hooyoosay’s catalog. It’s a lovely track, offering the best lyricism of the EP when musing about what seems to be a child finally flying the nest and going off into the world. The song captures that reality well, because that’s all parents really can do - their absolute best until it’s time for their children to take the wheel.
‘Mountain Air’ also includes a cover of a 1967 Rolling Stones deep cut, ‘Complicated.’ Frankly, this was probably the best song Hooyoosay could have picked out of the Stones’ catalog to cover. It’s obscure enough to not draw immediate comparisons, and the original atmosphere and lyrical style of the track is very reminiscent of Hooyoosay’s own work. The harmonica that slips in and out of the song is absolutely fantastic, and it’s a single that does the Stones’ version justice.
The album then ends with an instrumental version of ‘Mountain Air’ called ‘Mountain View.’ Much like ‘My Lucky Dream Day,’ it’s good background music. It doesn’t stand as tall as its vocalized counterpart, but it’s a nice little closer, thus making ‘Mountain Air’ another one of Hooyoosay’s offerings worth taking a listen to. I’d love to see them experiment more with their sound in the future, as this music does sound very safe, but as always, they’ve produced material that’ll get your feet moving and your heart full.