The Oh Hellos
are developing the reputation of being a live band you have
to see. "I think there's a lot of comradery, both amongst us on stage and with the crowd," singer Tyler Heath told us during the band's recent session. "At the end of the set we pull out all the stops...we go wild!" That kind of thing usually goes over pretty well with crowds. See Exhibit A: a clip of the band sending The Newport Folk Festival into a tizzy
earlier this summer.
When The Oh Hellos came by our offices, it (understandably) took us a little while to take stock of everyone in their band/entourage. There are a lot of them...they can clearly overwhelm a stage, make a big, dramatic, and joyous sound, and win over a crowd. But what was so interesting about our session was just how intimate and personal a band of their size can also sound. The music of their new album Dear Wormwood
, along with 2 albums before that, is that kind of rollicking, folk-country that'll get you clapping your hands, stomping your feet, and shouting along. The Oh Hellos feel so so good. But there are delicate moments to be had as well, moments where singer Maggie Heath's voice flutters like a butterfly in a light breeze of finger picked guitar or banjo. If the band pushes too hard, that lovely little butterfly is doomed.
It's moments like these that get emphasized in our fabulous session with the Texan 7 piece (actually, we think there are more of them...we're pretty convinced not all of the band showed for this session!). This session is quiet and serene, but no less easy to sing along to. Seriously, "Bitter Water", "Eat You Alive", and "Hello My Old Heart" demand it. And as our own Erin Walsh noted, "there's something so personal about a song that you can easily sing along to." So while the band didn't jump and dance and leap into the arms of our production crew (though, wouldn't that have been something?), we too felt the comradery which Tyler speaks of. Now, so can you with the release of this uber-charming new session.