It can be easy to get snooty about an unpretentious pop song; something with a gentle melody, an easy hook and a traditional song structure.
Philadelphia’s Hurry are absolute masters of the classic indie-pop sound and ‘Guided Meditation’ a glorious example of doing all the simple things exceptionally well. Of course, that’s not to denigrate the craft that goes into making art – it’s just that songs like ‘When I’m With You’ are so immediate and contagious, they’ll be stuck in your head almost instantly – and it feels effortless.
Recalling the likes of Teenage Fanclub, The Shins, Dillon Fence and later-career power-pop Gin Blossoms, ‘Guided Meditation’ pretty much touches base with every alternative pop movement of the last 30 years; a bit of jangle pop here, a splash of dream pop there, a hint of college rock – there’s even nods to Britpop, with the introduction to ‘Nothing to Stay’ or the sombre ‘Love is Elusive’ not too far removed from Oasis or The Verve.
Lyrically, ‘Guided Meditation’ is just as interesting; songs like ‘Under Her Thumb’ display anxiety about growing older, while the group (led by Everyone Everywere’s Matthew Scottoline) hit on issues of mental health and relationship breakdown. On the surface ‘Guided Meditation’ may sound happy and carefree, but there’s hidden depths throughout.
It means Hurry have delivered the perfect pop album for people who like a variety of different genres, distilled and decanted into 9 of the most wonderful songs you could hear. There’s a familiarity about songs like ‘Shake It Off’ and ‘Fascination’, and when played a summer party they’re sure to elicit questions of “Who is this?” and “Haven’t I heard it before?” Unless you have very cool friends, you can be sure they haven’t – but they’ll wish they had.
’Guided Meditation’ by Hurry is released on April 29 on Lame-O Records.
Words by Rob Mair (@BobNightMair)