Hovvdy Share Their Favorite Double Double Whammy Albums
The slowcore duo recommend three favs from their label on the release day of their third LP, Heavy Lifter.
Following last year’s Cranberry, we thought we knew what we were in for when Hovvdy announced their follow-up, Heavy Lifter, back in August. While the electric guitars, tight production, and Dave Benton-esque vocals of “Cathedral” sounded like a bit of a left turn for the slowcore band, succeeding singles “Ruin (my ride)” and “Mr. Lee” confirmed the new record as a totally experimental affair, featuring warped vocals and minimalist old-school hip-hop beats that work surprisingly well with the band’s previously narrow sonic palette.
That isn’t to say the old Hovvdy is gone—in fact single “So Brite,” opener “1999,” and album midpoint “feel tall” are among the band’s dreamiest folk cuts, fleshing out an album of new ideas with dolled up iterations of the melancholic acoustic lo-fi group that Cranberry and 2016’s Neutral-Milk-Hotel-on-sedatives debut Taster presented them as.
Although it’s a big step for Hovvdy, every song on Heavy Lifter sounds undeniably like the product of Double Double Whammy. The label that introduced many of us to Mitski, Frankie Cosmos, and Hatchie appears to be growing at a healthy pace since establishing in 2011 to release music by founding members Mike Caridi and Dave Benson’s music as LVL UP and Spook Houses—below, Hovvdy’s Charlie Martin and Will Taylor give us their picks for three of the label’s most important releases.
Heavy Lifter is out today on Double Double Whammy. You can stream it below, and order a copy here.
Lomelda, M for Empathy
Charlie Martin: I really don’t know a more inspiring musician than Hannah Read. Her songs and her playing are so heavy and perfect, honestly. I’m so impacted by her music every time I hear it. She is also a dear friend, one of my favorite people in the world. M for Empathy tore me up. Crying and smiling and everything. Truly wild she achieved the arc and impression of an LP in seventeen minutes. I learned later she recorded the whole thing in just three days with her brother, Tommy. What an incredible feat. They have such a unique and powerful chemistry, and it comes through vividly in everything they make. The songs feel so true and personal, almost confessional; but the music (the openness and the closeness, all the textures) opens up the listener to feel everything, too.
Sean Henry, It’s All About Me
Will Taylor: This album played a big role in my initial interest in DDW. The title is perfectly self-aware, and equally silly. There is a laidback-ness to these songs that wonderfully contradicts the vocals that stare you right in the face. You can tell that Sean cares a lot, but never takes himself too seriously. It’s equally rewarding to bask in the easy moments as it is to wrestle with the chaotic ones. Whether it’s a sunny walk with “interlude II,” morning coffee with “dear joyce,” or a night drive with “the crow,” there is something for everything in this album.
Porches, Slow Dance in the Cosmos (released by Exploding in Sound Records, with Double Double Whammy offering a limited edition cassette)
CM: My intro to Porches was this YouTube video of him playing “Xanny Bar” solo on a guitar. I remember feeling genuinely reminded of Townes Van Zandt, which has to be the ultimate compliment. Aaron Maine’s voice is so bold and pretty, and he sings with such commitment to his melodies. I’m really inspired by singers like that. And it’s hard to say, but I think this is my favorite Porches record. Probably because of the warmth in the songs and the production; and there’s this palpable, almost desperate energy throughout that’s really compelling.