Hovvdy Sets the Bar for Modern Indie Folk at an Insane Height

By Lukas Da Silva

Folk rock has become a mainstay within the indie scene and it’s become bittersweet in a way. The fact that there are so many people enjoying the genre and looking for artists within this field of music makes me so happy. However the overabundance of artists working in the genre has led to a lower standard of quality within the genre of music. Many acts feel paper thin and can feel lifeless within their music. But Hovvdy proves that the standard we should be striving for is higher than I could have anticipated.

While I was originally introduced to Hovvdy on their album Heavy Weight, it took me till their record True Love to begin to fall in love with the folk group. The lush vocals, soothing guitars, and steady drumming made the music from this band reverberate inside of me. It’s this feeling of resonance that is something unique I believe in the folk genre and this album proves that my experience with the band wasn’t a fluke.

Displaying in tracks like “Shell”, there’s a sense of steadiness in how the band leads us through their music that you can’t help but admire. The band loves to build multilayered instrumentals that crescendo to a point of finality when a track ends. It’s this and their ability to effortlessly weave nostalgia and longing into the core of their vocals and songwriting. Every track feels like an ode to a memory from a distant past that the band is trying to reclaim.

On tracks like “Make Ya Proud”, the lack of deeply long-winded lyrics lets the listener obtain their sense of meaning from the track. For me, the track sounds like a letter to the grandparents of the band but someone could glean a completely different meaning from this track. This is a sign of carefully thought-out songwriting. The ability to know when enough is said to get a point across is a difficult thing to do and it only becomes more difficult in musical form.

But don’t think that just because the band is a folk group, they can’t experiment with their sound. Tracks like “Meant” and “Bubba ” stand out due to their use of drum machines, vocal effects, and production techniques. These forays into what folk music can be stand out as highlights because of how strong the band’s core foundation is. If the band didn’t have such a handle on their current genre’s sound, they wouldn’t be able to travel to these uniquely untapped styles.

Overall, Hovvdy proves that the folk genre still has so much more in store for us. While it may be a genre with many artists attempting the same sound, it’s the few acts that show the drive to push the genre forward that will live on in our memory.

Fav Track: Meant