“Hazy, distorted visuals and dreamlike imagery…”
With melancholic melodies and haunting, delicate Thom Yorke-esque vocals, Scottish three-piece Hiva Oa creates a sound that grabs you from the first listen and refuses to let go.
The double A-side single ‘Badger’ and ‘Urban’ both showcase the band’s stirring sound perfectly. The Radiohead-inspired ‘Badger’ whispers along with a creeping melody, and wouldn’t sound out of place on Kid A. The video is equally surreal; the hazy, distorted visuals and dreamlike imagery creating a chilling atmosphere that verges on jet-black despair.
‘ Urban’ is more soothing. The weeping strings of the guitar melody and the fragile vocals of lead singer Stephen Houlihan linger in your head long after the last note plays out.
Both cuts are taken off the band’s debut album ‘The Awkward Hello, Handshake, Kiss’, released earlier this year. The Edinburgh-based three-piece will be following this with new material next year and judging by their latest release, they show a lot of promise.
By Dean Hodge