Hovvdy (pronounced "howdy") makes tender, thoughtful bedroom pop built off simple elements and pensive melodies; its songs unfurl with gently-placed, repetitive riffs too delicate to be described as "hooks." Listening to its music unlocks a kind of melancholy that sits deep in the part of your brain that processes both the hazy memories of last night's party and the low-grade, persistent existential dread of your 20s. Its spacey, meditative songs are a fitting a soundtrack for the kind of late-night highway drives that get you so lost in your thoughts you drive right by your exit.
The band's two members, Charlie Martin and Will Taylor, were both drummers before starting Hovvdy. They credit their lack of experience playing guitar for the music's sparse sound; rather than a disadvantage, it serves the songs by ensuring they never sound overcrowded. After an EP and a split with fellow Austinites Loafer, Hovvdy released its debut album, Taster, last year.
Cranberry builds on Taster's warm, self-described "pillowcore." Its first single, "Petal," takes its time, unfolding like a meditation on a sensation just out of reach: "I had a feeling / with who you used to be" is its central, repeating lyric. Its video is equally cozy; shot around Hovvdy's hometown, it shows the band playing music, driving around and generally reaching towards contentment despite — or, perhaps, through — the malaise of everyday life.
Cranberry comes out Feb. 9, 2018, on Double Double Whammy.