Influence is a tricky thing. A band filled with immensely talented individuals can all too easily fall into the trap of imitation or replication, never quite inputting enough of themselves into the work they’re creating. With that vice in mind, experimental Athens, Ga., rockers Oak House set out to record their sophomore album Hot or Mood by divorcing themselves from those easy creative touchstones—at least as much as anyone can. As singer and guitarist Gresham Cash explains, “We started to write pieces based on skeletal songs that I had written over the last three years, fragments of poems that I had tucked away and simple motifs that came up while jamming. We tried to avoid thinking or saying, ‘I really want this to sound like so-and-so’s fill in the blank.’” The result is a juggernaut of a record, and one that feels like a band coming into their own.
The songs blend together atmosphere and chaos, veering too left of center to be anthemic but containing an undeniable sense of symphonic grandeur. Teamed with of Montreal and Deerhunter producer Drew Vandenberg, the band set to expand their sound into something massive and cinematic in scope. Whether it’s in the tighter, poppier numbers or the explosive freakouts, skittering drum beats over heavy piano chords or Cash’s unsettlingly powerful voice, which falls somewhere in the middle-ground between Thom Yorke and Matt Bellamy, Hot or Mood is the album where Oak House realize exactly what they’re capable of.
Hot or Mood is streaming exclusively on Paste—you can listen below, and check out the album art and tracklist further down. Oak House will self-release the album this Friday, April 7.
Hot or Mood Album Art:
Hot or Mood Tracklist:
01. Damp Eyes
04. Cut That Out
08. Song Of Myself
09. Around The Room