Rustic sad songs of one boy and his guitar.
It takes a lot of guts to produce music that is as paired back as His His makes. He often uses just a guitar, a voice and the occasional piano or shaker. It leaves you, as a singer-songwriter, exposed. That is exactly what draws a listener in though. That vulnerability can translate into heart slaying melodies and sad songs to curl up to. ‘Garden Songs’ brings plenty of that mood to your speakers.
Whilst the mini-album is bookended with cassette taped tracks like a lost 1980’s demo, the rest of the album is abundant. The guitars, piano and vocals all have a long tail reverb to them to comfortably fill in the sound. It works beautifully with His His’ voice which was made for indie folk music. Whether it’s the low vocal fry of ‘Dried Lilacs’ or the breathy notes of ‘Home, Home’, His His works emotion deep into his style. The lyrics are interesting too as they aren’t particularly sad but they all have a yearning. A yearning for love, a yearning for life and a yearning for connection.
When it comes to gentle acoustic singer-songwriter tracks, His His knocks it out of the park again and again. Particular standouts are the lethargic and reflective ‘Old Bones’ and the whimsical ‘Sweet Company’. They both weave their magic in understated ways but are easily among my favourite indie-folk tracks of the last couple of years. Restrained and beautifully performed, knowing to keep things simmering is key to making each note hit hard.
His His is the definition of a hidden gem. The Toronto based artist deserves lots of love and respect for carving out a small beautiful niche for himself. File under so good it hurts. For a great example of how his low frills set up works so well, enjoy this live on the back of his truck version of ‘Sweet Company’ below.
Recommended track: Sweet Company
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