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Happy, Hollow’s string-driven “Flowers”

From the moment that the guitars whisper their opening notes to the second that their harmonic screams disappear into the darkness, listeners are pushed to the edge of their seats in Happy, Hollow’s string-driven “Flowers.” This latest single from the Austin-based band kicks off with a gorgeous melody that slowly but surely turns into a tidal wave of tonality that is inescapable for anyone within earshot of the song. A beautiful voice dispenses a self-aware lyric while the band plays on peacefully, and though the mix constantly draws our attention to the riffing’s incomparably rhythmic strut, there’s never a moment where it feels like the individual instruments are competing for our attention in this track. “Flowers” is the kind of rock song that doesn’t ask very much of its audience in exchange for a rollicking beat, a playful vocal and a polished pop texture that anyone ages one to one hundred can appreciate, and while there’s nothing overtly plain about this single, it has a classic appeal that makes it seem familiar even to unaware ears.

If you look closely enough, you’ll find most every color of the rainbow in the music video for “Flowers,” and even if it isn’t the most elaborate video that you’ll see this summer, it’s nonetheless a slickly-produced effort from a band that doesn’t act or sound like they’ve been in this game for as short a time as they actually have. If you would have told me prior to hearing this song that Happy, Hollow were working on a follow-up to their second or third album and shown me nothing more than the music video for the track as evidence to support your claims, I absolutely would have believed you. They’ve got such a relaxed vibe here, and there’s never an occasion on which they sound or look like they don’t know what they’re doing. They’re evenly rehearsed, adjusted to each other’s style of play and operating like a well-oiled machine in every way that actually counts in “Flowers,” and for a group that is only three songs-deep into their career, that’s nothing to scoff at.

“Flowers” reaches the finish line with a divinely kaleidoscopic tizzy of guitar, bass and drum chaos, and when the song is over and we’re left with nothing but silence, it’s not uncommon to find the swing of the riffs still lingering in your mind (I know I certainly experienced this every time I put this single on the stereo). Happy, Hollow have got a lot left to prove if they’re going to make it in a town like Austin, which has been home to one of the most diverse and cutthroat music scenes in the country for nearly four decades now, but as far as I’m concerned, their new single is a must-listen for serious alternative rock enthusiasts around the globe this summer. Both the song and its lovably laidback music video are as fresh as they come, and I can’t wait to see and hear more of what they have to offer in releases that have yet to be recorded.

Mindy McCall

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