Last year I had a sit-and-listen to an EP from a band called Hideous Towns – a melancholic four-piece that alternate from piercing post-punk to dispirited yet superbly written dream-pop. A new 7” has been fed down the pipeline and is a great one-two of more downcast pop with a bit less abrasion. ‘Heart Attack’ and ‘Skin’ are the two tunes on the release, recorded and mixed by Matthew Hosking and mastered by Mikey Young.
Plugged in and listening – straight away the notes are clear and resonant. The sound feels like sun poking through clouds after rain, that crisp breath of air in the lungs and the smell of petrichor (again with the rain analogy, apologies!). A slight breeze runs through ‘Heart Attack’, carrying with it notes of woebegone longing, wistful recollection and mild unease. The vocals are really, really nice here – playing well with the dreamy instrumentation.
‘Skin’ is similarly striking although fits more in the spectrum of pop than any hissing or fizzing that came on the Hideous Towns EP. There is a tiny bit of guitar chop at the end but it was almost unnecessary given how splendid the song is. I dig how Hideous Towns have jumped feet first into the dream-pop pool, their ability to craft listenable songs and the potential to mix it up with fierce breakdowns make a captivating mix.