Hollows are a Chicago five-piece who play throwback, female-fronted pop with an ear for haunting organ that underlays the peppy "sha la la" approach. They mix '60s girl groups with '80s keys, a flair of dance punk, and more than a hint of kitsch. So, how does it all add up?
[jump] The record begins with the lament "Bobby Blueheart, your records sound just as sad as me." Immediately, the band has broken the fourth wall and placed them as one with their listeners. This instills a sense of vulnerability that overrides the more theatrical elements of their music.
While kitschy songs tend to walk a fine line between one-and-done listens and serious fan bases, Hollows deliver an upbeat '60s-influenced take on bubblegum--the songs are driven by Maria Jenkins' organ and strong harmonies punctuated with "sha-la-las"--that, while cutesiness is definitely a key ingredient, the driving melodies and dark undertones carry the song. Hollows may recall a more innocent era, but their lyrics focus on dark humor and the contrasting playful delivery of sometimes gory details.
On "Walkaway," the band sets the tone with a spooky, cartoony organ as the lyrics reflect on a past relationship--the longing emotions in conflict with the basics of moving on. Meanwhile, the dancey beats and positive timbre contrast with the content once again, featuring lyrics like "calling up your Mom and Dad/ tell them about the baby we never had."
To put it mildly, it's not your average sing-a-long feel good content, but it's packaged in an incredibly saccharine package while delivered with a smirk.