KUMD Album Review: Slow Hollows

Jan 18, 2017

L.A. based Slow Hollows formed in 2013, but don’t start putting boxes around this indie rock band. 

The millennials may hail from the golden state, but their music is reminiscent in its revival of 80’s and 90’s lament rock. Synth beats along with the monotone voice of Austin Feinstein create flashbacks to bands such as The Cure, Radiohead and Joy Division.

The band’s latest release, Romantic is a bit of a misnomer. Written during Feinstein’s senior year of high school, the nine track record explores central themes of loneliness and introspection–leaving little room for any lesson in romantics.

“Spirit Week” opens up the album and sets up the melancholy mood. Sorrowful lyrics give way to an addictive guitar rift intertwining with a smooth trumpet on the next track “Again.” An easy number to listen to while walking along overcast streets, “blatantly fake, but you still chase cloudy ideas that are not fate.”

Poking holes into the romanticized image of struggling artists, Slow Hollows Romantic aims to look at the ironic ways artists and the audience alike glorifies mental illness and general strife.

Slow Hollows are no strangers to shining a spotlight on the negative side of life, but gloom and doom isn’t their only directive. Collaborations with the likes of Frank Ocean and Tyler, the Creator give more depth to Feinstein’s musical affinity.

“Softer” heats up the tempo with zesty brass showing off that even when played in a somber tone the saxophone always brings a flash of life to music.

A haunting plucking of guitar strings and piano dance together over two short verses on “Luxury of Lull.” A beautiful yet mournful melody, “I'll drive myself into a hole, soft hands, white teeth I hate this truth.” Feinstein drops all walls, leaving himself exposed in an emotional moment spun in time.

Although the band members are teenagers, the success of their releases tells a different tale of stardom. Musical and emotional maturity saturates each note, bypassing clichés for a genuine and meaningful commentary of the human experience.