I just had a kind of mystifying conversation with a publicist who was just sure I would love Clare and the Reasons, and I had to explain that indie pop is not really my thing...I may like a record here and there, but very little of it seems to matter. (By the way, I listened to the free giveaway from the new Clare and the Reasons and immediately moved on...it was pretty enough but completely inessential.)
So anyway, Hollyhocks is probably the "record here and there" that will confuse people...it's really nothing but indie pop, but well done, and I do love that "EO" song near the end of the album.
My review from Blurt a couple of days ago.
The Hollyhocks make a luminous, pristine sort of pop, last spotted in the dreamy days of the Sundays. Guitar lines are polished to a high, reverberant glitter, so that individual notes seem to hang, sparkling, against a velvety drape. A brash rhythm section grounds these songs in rock, but singer Kristin Sobditch is always untethering them. Her soft, lucid voice floats like a helium balloon over the instrumental arrangements, buoyant, untroubled and effortless. The sound on Understories is so clean and bright that you might not notice at first that "Photograph" is the Def Leppard single, stretched to a languid, day-dreamy ballad, embellished with swoops of strings and incorporating, right at the end, a quotation from "Baba O'Reilly."