Tunesday 8: The Hush Sound
The Hush Sound, Goodbye Blues
You may have already heard the Hush Sound without realizing it if you are a fan of the tv shows Grey's Anatomy or House, both of which have featured the song "Medicine Man" in promotional materials. Very early in their very young careers (the band formed in late 2004) they caught the attention of members of Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco, and share a label with both bands. Genre-bending pop/rock sounds and witty lyrics unite all of these bands, but the Hush Sound seems the most accessible to me and the most mature-- ironic, since they are the youngest of the three bands.
The Hush Sound produces a lot of sound for a quartet. Lead singing duties are shared by pianist Greta Salpeter and guitarist Bob Morris. Salpeter's vocals bring to mind Leigh Nash of Sixpence None The Richer, and she emits a silky, knowing alto which is all the more amazing considering she is just twenty years old. Her keyboards also emphatically anchor the songs with a jangly, hammered sound somewhat reminiscent of a ragtime or honky-tonk piano.
Morris's voice reminds one strongly of Brendon Urie of PATD. Morris's guitar work is also rather retro, evincing a strong Telecaster tone with a growly yet clean lyricism that reminds me of Walter Becker of Steely Dan. What sets this band apart from many of its label-mates in the versatility that they mine through the combination of male and female voices and their inventive rhythm section.
"Honey" and "Molasses" are both bouncy little numbers that echoes the vibe of Aimee Mann's "Momentum" from the Magnolia Soundtrack, while "That's Okay" is a more meditative number very much in the SNTR vein. "As You Cry," features Morris on lead vocals and whirls through several musical styles verging from a Smiths- like bridge to tight vocal harmonies. The version of the album that I have also includes a video to "Wine Red," from their previous album Like Vines, which is also a fine example of the Hush Sound's style.