Wednesday night, a friend of a friends band, HYMNS
, played at the Mercury Lounge, and I decided to tag along. That makes me with the band, right?
HYMNS is a four piece band based in Brooklyn whose sound rings true to the member's roots for the most part. Guitarists Jason Roberts and Brian Harding hail from North Carolina, and songs such as "Appaloosa" (my personal favorite) off their new EP of the same title and "LA, Babette Sange" have a twang reminiscent of The Band that would make any Southern rocker proud. Plus, they have the hospitality of those south of the Mason-Dixon Line; refreshing, especially for a certain audience member who is new to the "I dont give a sh*t, get out of my way" attitude and fast-paced lifestyle of New York. During their second song in complete earnest, Harding encouraged the crowd to move nearer to the stage citing, "It helps us if you are closer." And with that, the boundaries between entertainer and audience were washed away as people began to dance along with Roberts who, by the way, never once stopped moving his feet.
Yet, it would be hard to classify HYMNS as simply good ol alt. country. They have a certain flare about them which maybe comes from the fact that they have appeared alongside the likes of Ben Kweller, The Lemonheads, and the always fascinating Beck. This intangible quality comes out for instance when they bring in a horn section for numbers like "I Cant Be What You Want" or when they fearlessly take on the Bee Gees classic "To Love Someone" creating a well-crafted number all their own.
To round out their already great set, HYMNS played their oh-so-danceable pop number "Wedding Day" off of Appaloosa
. Before beginning, Harding playfully proposed that we "dance to this one&mdash if you want to". Oh Brian, as if that even needed to be suggested.-Alicia Mercolino
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Hymns on Myspace