Houndmouth: “Houston Train”
The last few years has seen a bit of earthy earnestness re-injected into mainstream pop music. This wave manifested in groups like the Mumford, Fleet Foxes and the current crop of rootsy, Texas country that’s been bubbling here in Austin (a phenomenon our own Texas Music Matters recently chronicled). Maybe it’s the hard(er) times that’s touched almost all of us, or maybe we’re just tired of ironic tees and wink-and-a-nod self-awareness. Whatever the reason, a little honesty is always a good thing in pop music. The Kentucky/Indiana-based band Houndmouth are doing their part to keep the roots alive.
Houndmouth is Katie Toupin, Matt Myers, Shane Cody and Zak Appleby. The band’s sound is pure American heartland. Rock, folk and bits of soul find equal footing in their tunes. As recently as summer last year, Houndmouth was just your average (but phenomenal) working band slugging it out on the scene. But landmark London indie label Rough Trade saw something in them, and scooped up the quartet. Late last month (Aug. 28) the imprint released Houndmouth’s self-titled, debut EP.
That brings us to today’s song of the day. “Houston Train” burns slower than a tallow candle. It’s minimalistic, and driven heavily by drums, bass and Toupin’s lovely voice. But when the guitars kick in, it’ll give you that familiar tingly feeling in your neck. The little shots of solos take you just to the edge of the cliff, but never let you fall. The song is rootsy, soulful and comes from the best parts of American music.
This weekend Houndmouth’ll be one of the groups on-hand at this year’s UTOPiAfest. The band performs Friday evening at 7:15 p.m.