Hoots and Hellmouth reach new heights In The Trees - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Hoots and Hellmouth | courtesy of the artist

The first thing you’ll notice about Hoots and Hellmouth’s new album In the Trees is the drums. This isn’t to say the band hasn’t incorporated a kit in the past, but it’s certainly never been this up-front and muscularand that change is a welcome one. With this newfound emphasis on the rhythm section and the guiding hand of engineer Nathan Sabatino, the band is sounding bigger and better than ever before on their new album, which is out today.

On sprawling opener “Golden Coast”, frontman Sean Hoots urges the listener to “take [him] out against [his] will”, a sentiment that reflects this record’s overall feeling of expansion and change. Hoots and Hellmouth have matured quite a bit since 2012’s Salt, and that shows in the confidence of the vocals and the attitude of some of these grooves. With spiritual lyrics and gospel trimmings, songs like “Diction” and “Only Animal” are downright soulful. Meanwhile, poppier tracks like “Delicate Skeletons” and the aforementioned “Golden Coast” are the perfect soundtrack for a road trip through the mountains.

Just because Hoots and Hellmouth are way more handsome and swole than you remember doesn’t mean they’ve lost their sensitivity, though. Fans of their more delicate, acoustic sound will still find a lot to love on tracks like “Rivers and Rivulets” and “Off To Sea.” The former features a gentle, sleigh bell back beat and gorgeous, transcendental flute, while the latter is spacious and serene with a dramatic finish. In The Trees is, without a doubt, their strongest effort yet, and you can stream it now via AllMusic.

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