I’m not someone who is hugely familiar with the indie-pop / jangle scene, so when I stumbled across the debut EP of NY duo Home Lives I didn’t really know how to feel about it. I couldn’t relate it to anything in my stacks of ancient hardcore-punk and garage records, but then I started to dig a little deeper and discovered an intriguing three-track that has something for everyone – even people like myself.
If you froth all things jangle rock you’ll dig Home Lives. Once you listen to their Cool Waves, Young Blood EP you’ll have more froth than the dog from Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Home Lives hasn’t been a thing for long, but childhood friends Mike Horgan (vocals, guitar and bass) and Brittany Cohen (vocals and keyboard) have known each other for a life time. Home Lives was for them an opportunity to create catchy pop songs peppered with honest and often invasively personal lyrical content, ranging from intense teenage love, trying to become an adult and the whimsy and trauma present in the human condition. The kind of relationship Horgan and Cohen have brings with it closeness and an emotional freedom unique to people you’ve shared your entire life with, and from the first bar of Cool Waves, Young Blood the music they have made goes well beyond what they hoped to create.
The title track Cool Waves, Young Blood starts like any catchy pop song you’d imagine; catchy riff, boppy rhythms and a glistening keyboard line. The lyrical darkness of the track is a jarring contrast against the indie-pop jams, which is kind of the allure of the whole album. It’s like a big warm hug from your smelliest best friend. It’s comforting and heartfelt and sure it might be uncomfortable at times but that discomfort is an important part of growing up and enjoying the magic of human emotion.
The heady rhythms pound on and the emotional intensity remains palpable, enticing the listener on to the penultimate track Stuck W/ Me. This is a heartfelt story of two people with all their fears, anxieties and self perceived negative qualities staying together despite the emotional maelstrom that circles their relationship. The pace picks back up again just in time to close the EP with Baby Angel, which opens with the most 90’s nostalgia use of the phrase ‘woah’ that I have ever experienced.
Having gone into this EP with absolutely no reference point I’m probably not the person most suited to pass judgement on it’s place in the wider indie scene. What I can say for Cool Waves, Young Blood is that it is a warm, honest and at times too real emotional roller coaster that I would gladly ride again and again.
While Home Lives aren’t actively promoting any shows at present you can be sure that an imminent EP tour will allow curious jangle aficionados to ride the emotional roller coaster themselves – but if you really can’t get enough of Home Lives, a recent eBay spree has equipped the band with a POG maker (90’s nostalgia intensifies), the results of which can be purchased off their Bandcamp page for three bucks a pack. Signed to local legends Monday Records these guys are well worth keeping an eye on.