HYLA serve up their best work to date with The Thousands

Perth four-piece HYLA serve up some hard-hitting surrealistic dream pop on their latest single The Thousands. Formed from friends and Perth music-scene mainstays since 2014, the group consists of Alex Hayes (vocals/guitar), Mike Antonas (guitar), Rob Stephens (bass) and Darren Staply (drums). Alex is also known for having lent his talents as a drummer to local acts The Silents and Abbe May.


The chugging bass and shimmering fuzzed-out guitar licks works wonders for Perth boys HYLA. The Thousands marks an exciting start to 2015 for the band.

Since we last checked in on HYLA prior the release of their self-titled EP in April last year, the boys have been busy refining their musical direction and producing their debut LP Atmosphere (expected to drop early this year). For the new single the band has taken a casual approach to recording, cutting the track at Rob and Mike’s Pink Eye Studios. While the band has gone on record to casually dismiss Pink Eye as “A bunch of gear at Rob and Mike’s house”, the studio has played host to a number of other Perth bands including shoe gazers Flying Colours and dark folk act Childsaint.

Following in the tradition of sublime dream poppers Slow Dive, layers of chugging bass, ambient guitar fuzz, slow drum grooves and ethereal vocals blur together to create a daze of melancholy. Alex’s echoing vocals float above the rest of the mix. Somber, washed out lyrics explore emotive themes of abandonment and loss of direction. The band’s concerted effort to develop a more cohesive sound has paid off. While The Thousands shares some common ground with their first single Sides, their new material veers away from the garage, grunge and low-fi shoe-gaze influences to capture a richer and more cohesive sonic texture.

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Whether by accident or design the driving descent of the guitar riff adds an air of hard rock grandiosity to the sound (we are talking about Perth here). While something traditionally avoided by dream pop/shoe gaze purists, it works to add a more dramatic and slightly menacing quality to the song as it drifts slowly towards its climax. To their credit HYLA have taken apart dream pop to capture the washed-out sound of the genre while injecting the track band’s own unique rock flavour.

The glimmering fuzzed-out guitar licks and dreamy melodies of The Thousands combine to make the sweet atmospheric nothings of HYLA’s latest single their strongest material to date.



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