Houndmouth: Four member alternative/folk/indie-rock band stemming from Indiana; comprised of members Matt, Katie, Zak, and Shane; play one hell of a live show.
I have been fan of Houndmouth for quite some time now and have always thought their fan base certainly minimized how talented they are. The four have been playing together as a band since 2011, yet remain relatively unknown. This past weekend I saw them perform at the Newport Folk Festival and their show completely exceeded my expectations. Not only did they sound incredible, but their interaction with fans as well as each other contained a certain charm that is not seen too frequently live. In between smoke breaks and sips of wine, Katie on the keys belted out clear folky versus laced with a certain velvety twang. Matt also contributed vocals in between guitar solos that sent chills down my spine. He alternated between blues riffs and rock lines so effortlessly, it was truly beautiful to see. Zak on the bass guitar spent his time when he wasn’t singing jumping around with so much energy that is seemed to almost pulsate through the crowd. He also engaged in banter with the other three/ made faces so much that at one point it appeared Katie had to really make an effort to suppress her laughter. Shane serves had a steady foundation for the band, contributing rhythmic percussion and occasional vocals, only to be interrupted by his constant show of appreciation to the fans who had showed up to watch the performance (which happened to be at the same time as Deer Tick). Harmonies get me every time, and Houndmouth certainly highlight their capability to do so by often minimizing musical accompaniment to single out various harmonic progressions.
Houndmouth also played NFF last year and have been around the world on several tour stops the past year in support of their debut album they released last year, From The Hills Below The City. They played a few songs from their new album at the fest and the songs gave the perfect glimpse into what an amazing follow-up album it will be. What is so enlightening about the band is that they are able to take what they are doing very seriously, yet have such a fun time doing it. Many bands say they are enjoying themselves, but seldom do you find a band who is able to successfully create convivial songs and shows.
Songs To Know: Penitentary, Long As You’re At Home