We begin the music video for Happy, Hollow’s new single “Flowers” surreally, looking on as the band gently lays into the song’s main melody against a blinding white backdrop. The contrast in this video isn’t limited to the visual landscape alone; the lead vocal’s fragile serenade is juxtaposed with a gritty flood of instrumental harmonies centering on a blustery guitar riff, creating a duality in the track that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. A string of psychedelic-tinged shots maximize the understated postmodernity in both the imagery and the music itself, and by the time the video has come to a conclusion, it feels more like we’ve just stepped out of a dream than watched a new video from a sensational indie pop group. “Flowers” is a gripping visual experience, and even if it isn’t the most action-packed video that I’ve seen in the last year, its main star – the music – compensates for its less than cinematic stylization. I’ve been following this band for a minute now, but to say that they’ve elevated their game in this latest single simply wouldn’t be doing it justice.

The framework here is straight out of the 1960’s pop playbook, but the crystal-clear tonality of the instruments is very contemporary, even futuristic in a couple of key moments. The strings are always at the forefront of this mix, giving the vocal a solid foundation and colorizing the black and white beats in a way that only good guitar play can. The bassline isn’t saturated in distortion, and thus its synchronized rhythm with the percussion is all the more swaggering, particularly when we’re coming up on the release in the chorus. I get the impression that Happy, Hollow are trying to give us an old school pop song with a very new school kind of a texture, and they did a pretty great job of accomplishing what they set out to here. This gives unfamiliar listeners a decent idea of what this group can do with a fairly stock song structure, and if they were to push their sound in a more experimental direction, they could translate even more inventively than they do in “Flowers.”

SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/happyhollowmusic/flowers

Where 2018 was a lackluster year for pop music, 2019 has been delivering the goods across the board and giving fans reason to believe that the forthcoming decade is going to be even more exciting than the current one has been, and it’s undoubtedly because of independent acts like Happy, Hollow. The video for “Flowers” is one of the most on-point music videos that I’ve seen from an FM-outsider in years, and if its zero-fluff design is a taste of what Happy, Hollow’s future material will look like, then you can definitely sign me up for more from this band. They’ve got all the makings of being a really successful pop group, and if they’re able to expand upon the blueprint set forth in this single, the momentum that they’re currently experiencing could potentially grow into an almost unstoppable force come 2020. Only time will tell for sure, but right now it can be said that this summer belongs to Happy, Hollow.

Michael Rand

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