Free and legal MP3: The Hush Now (subtly contagious neo-power pop)

“Hoping and Waiting” – the Hush Now

After a church-like organ intro, “Hoping and Waiting” turns upbeat and unexpectedly contagious. I had to live with it a while for the catchiness to sink in, however; it’s not a completely obvious hook. But after listening to it on and off for a few weeks, I noticed that it was beginning to pop unbidden into my head. This is almost always a sign of a song that I am liking more than I initially realize I’m liking it.

The part that kept popping into my head: that particular place in the chorus where the melody takes a leap up on the word “heart” (first heard around 1:19). Talk about uplifting–just hearing that word sung with that upward leap settles something in my soul. And then the immediate follow-up, the word “anticipating” sung (on the second syllable) with that same up-leap. Brilliant. As for the operatic tenor interlude (2:42), it shouldn’t really work, but it does, precisely when (and because) the tenor ramps up into a classical frenzy concurrently with singer Noel Kelly repeating the lines “Did you feel? Did you feel? Did you feel?” Also brilliant. And then suddenly a trumpet that had been lurking in the background materializes front and center, adding the feeling of an offbeat fanfare to the closing measures. I like it.

The Hush Now is a quartet from Boston. “Hoping and Waiting” will appear on their second album, Constellations, due out as a self-release in October. (If you’re interested, the band started giving its self-titled debut album away for free online earlier this year; you can still grab it here.)

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