Sounds Like: The feeling of stepping out of the garage and into the sunlight.
This had to be the first record spotlighted for my throwback section, because I need to right a personal wrong. Had I been aware of this album sooner, not only would it have made my annual “Best Of” countdown in 2017, it very well might have taken the top spot; It’s that good!
Coco Hames was the voice of The Ettes, a fantastic garage trio that came into formation in the early 2000s. The Ettes made some of my favorite music, but their last record was in 2011. So Imagine my surprise coming across while perusing Austin’s Waterloo Records. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was not prepared for what this album actually contained. At ten tracks clocking in at thirty-two minutes, this is a tight album of outstanding songs; There’s not a skippable one in the bunch. What surprised me though - what stood out most about the record - was it’s brightness. It’s an incredibly warm album, that is filled with joy, and heartache, but leaves you feeling energized.
The Ettes knew how to craft hooks, but there was always an edge to their music, that garage crunch. Here the edge is replaced with a twang. While not a country album by any means, there is a Nashville influence at work. With bright guitars and great production, nothing feels forced or out of place . From the jangly opening notes of “When You Said Goodbye” to the sun drenched lament of “Tennessee Hollow” there is relaxed confidence that carries these tunes, but never straying too far from the hallmarks of what made The Ettes a dynamite band, like propulsive chug of “I Don’t Want To Go.”
The album has a fun little easter egg callback with “This House is Not A Home,” a track Coco closed out The Parting Gifts 2010 album with. It’s a nice little nod to nostalgia on an album that is steeped with wistful reflections. Coco Hames takes her past and creates something remarkably new, bright and unforgettable.
Check out Coco Hames Bandcamp Page to find this record!
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