‘This Love’, the first album from House of Hats(February 23, 2014)
When this album started, the opener invoked thoughts of sixties California folk, the general consensus around the office was the same but that was a fleeting thought. The longer you listen, the more ‘This Love’, the first album House of Hats releasing on 24 March 2014 definitely carves its own niche. It’s a tight, well put together package of interesting songs, catchy melodies and richly layered harmonies. It’s a blend of balladic, folk pop that wanders across the edges of alternative and contemporary making their sound hard to pin down. The overall intrigue lies in that ephemeral, drifting feel.
The folk responsible for the gentle vocals and wistful appeal that lingers within House of Hats are Alex Gigante (guitar, vocals) Noddy Alomran (guitar, piano, ukele, percussion, vocals) Roberto Gigante (bass, stomp box, mounted-tambourine, backing vocals) James Kuszewki (ukele, percussion, vocals).
The eponymous ‘This Love’ opens and followed by ‘Close To Me’ serves to lay down the elemental harmonic essence of the band, a soft, relationship-exploring effervescences that engages and slides softly into your ears. The standout tracks for me are the gregarious energy and evocative lyrics of ‘King of the Average Pace’ and the percussive hypnotism of ‘Rivers Will Run’. That said, the mournful echoes of ‘Joanne’ and double-header ever-hopeful vocals of ‘Gold’, both make their mark.
As I said, interesting songs, catchy melodies and richly layered harmonies and that’s a pretty fair summary of a fine debut album.
Reviewer: Dan Holland