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.
A little over a year ago last April, I penned a fairly complementary review of the band Hooyoosay. The EP they released around that time was a sharp, well-executed endeavor that, for the most part, alluded to their potential as a sustainable indie pop outfit. Now, they’ve got a new tune - ‘Palm Tree In My Garden.’ Let’s dig right into it and see how it stacks against their previous work that I lauded.
Like their past creations, ‘Palm Tree In My Garden’ is chock-full of personality. I love the vocal patterns and harmonies. I’ve previously referred to them as infectious, and they’re in full-form here on ‘Palm Tree In My Garden.’ The perfect dichotomy between male and female vocalists is a balance Hooyoosay strikes quite uniquely.
I’m not terribly sure where to place Hooyoosay... again. They toy with pop harmonies, as before, but this time, they’ve injected some R&B and funk influences to their instrumentation. At one point, a raw, scratchy harmonica even fades in and out of the soundscape to surprising effect.
Lyrically, ‘Palm Tree In My Garden’ is, well, bizarre. It’s very reminiscent of David Byrne's songwriting style. (Quite seriously - Go spin ‘Once In A Lifetime’ and notice the immediate parallels to this new Hooyoosay song.) It pokes fun at people who ‘have it made’ - a good car in the driveway, lots of money in the bank, a slew of online Facebook friends, etc. At the end of the day, though, they’re just sitting around alone with nobody calling them on the phone.
As expected, Hooyoosay’s production is excellent. They handle the vocal mixes masterfully. All of the instruments are well performed and produced, too. Hooyoosay doesn’t fall victim to any stereotypically bad production that’s so abundant in the indie scene.
Is this a creative contemporary take on ‘Money Can’t Buy Me Love’ themes? Most definitely. Is it lovely and refreshing? Absolutely.