It Hugs Back - Slow Wave
'Slow Wave' is the beautiful, widescreen cinematic pop record by England's unsung heroes, the cosmic lo-fi quartet It Hugs Back. Led by the intricate songwriting and guitar of Matthew Simms (also guitarist in longstanding influential art-rock band Wire since 2010), steering clear of standard structures and tunings by tackling his love for an ever-increasing range of music head on, working with Jack Theedom (keyboards & vocals), Paul Michael (bass) and Will Blackaby (drums), together they have created their own dream world of sound that is both new and wonderful.
During a lengthy period of recording in their own Kent countryside studio throughout the summer of 2014, the full band initially recorded live to form the strong, repetitive, rhythmic patterns that are the foundation to the record. FshaufMatthew and Jack then slowly built up multiple, interweaving layers of 12 string guitar, mellotron strings & analogue synthesisers and developed intricate mass vocal harmonies before sending the whole lot through their vast collection of old tape delays and phasers - set to slow! Forming in 2006, with 3 previous LP's varying wildly from 15 minute kraut-rock guitar jams to 2 minute pretty pop songs, it is clear that this new album from It Hugs Back is their most consistent and confident yet; as songwriters, musicians and producers they continue to thrive and progress.
Over the course of making this record Matthew also worked with Wire (self titled, April 2015, Pinkflag), mixed the acclaimed Chastity Belt album on Hardly Art/Sub Pop (Time To Go Home, March 2015), provided guitar on the new record from a hero of his, Bill Fay (Who Is The Sender? April 2015, Dead Oceans) and recorded his first solo e.p as Slows for Deep Distance (Feb 2015). This widespread productivity clearly feeds back and radiates positively. Overtime, It Hugs Back have become treasured and with good reason. It is an increasingly rare situation, and more aligned to some of their and probably your favourite bands; Wilco, Yo La Tengo, Teenage Fanclub...how the time, effort and room to grow can be heard beautifully in every note, noise and sound.