Album Review: Husky’s Forever So



Husky

Forever So

Sub Pop Records

Release Date: July 10, 2012 (digital), October 21, 2012 (CD)

 

Track Listing

1.     Tidal Wave

2.     Fake Moustache

3.     History’s Door

4.     The Woods

5.     Hunter

6.     Dark Sea

7.     Forever So

8.     Animals & Freaks

9.     Instrumental

10.  Hundred Dollar Suit

11.  How Do You Feel

12.  Don’t Tell Your Mother

13.  Farewell (In 3 Parts)

 

Personnel

Husky Gawenda – vocals, guitar

Gideon Preiss – keys, vocals

Evan Tweedie – bass, vocals

Luke Collins – drums

 

The Melbourne, Australia-based indie folk quartet Husky has had the kind of success over the past year or so that critics and fans would immediately call, “overnight success.” As winners of Triple J’s Unearthed contest, they had an opportunity to play in one of their native country’s biggest festivals – the Push Over Festival. Naturally, the unprecedented amount exposure has meant a number of things for their career – the band has opened for indie stars Devendra Banhart, Gotye, Noah and the Whale, and the Shins. And interestingly enough, they’re the first Australian band to be signed in Sub Pop Records’ noted history.

   After spending several months carefully crafting songs, the band spent several nights learning how to soundproof rooms and with as much old recording gear they could find, went to an abandoned bungalow that was in the back of Husky Gawenda’s house to first soundproof and partition rooms for the recording process, and then to actually record Forever So, the band’s debut effort. From such humble, everyday environs comes a quietly self-assured album that’s sounds intimate and direct. With guitars, vocals, keyboards, bass and drums the arrangements are elegantly lush and layered while maintaining a simplicity and restraint that’s honestly refreshing.  

   Much like the singer/songwriters of the 60s and 70s, the material on Forever So is thoughtful, sincere and feels both of its time and timeless – you could have heard the album on an AM station in roughly 1977 or in 2012. Gawenda’s lyrics are sung with a crooning falsetto, which is a bit unusual for a man who’s nickname is Husky, but it adds a haunting, ethereal feel to the entire proceedings – while borrowing a bit from the classics. The beginning chords of “The Woods” bear an uncanny similarity to the Eagles’ “Hotel California,” and the gentle guitar, keys and horn ending of album closer “Farewell (In 3 Parts) sounds a lot like it came from an old Beatles tune. It’s rare to hear debuts that are so incredibly remarkable – and so well crafted. In an age of singles, Forever So is the sort of album you have to listen to as an organic whole. The songs and their lovely melodies unfold to tell a larger and engrossing story that you keep repeatedly turning towards because it manages to reverberate in unforeseen ways in your life.