“You’d break in books like I had broken your spine“. A lyric that is equal parts violent and poetic. Such a pairing may seem odd at first, but rest assured there are plenty of reasons why anyone outside of an oxymoron lover would dig this. There’s a palpable intensity that runs throughout Cool Waves, Young Blood. Yet at the same time it’s surprisingly comforting. That’s the funny thing about New York duo Home Lives, they boast a duality in their sound that stays with you long after the track has crept back into the silent void.
Bonded together over dead bodies and deadly good music, New York’s Home Lives are ready to show the world what they’ve got with their debut single Cool Waves, Young Blood.
Home Lives is made up of the (musical) marriage of Mike Horgan and Brittany Cohen. The pair have known each for a long time, in fact they saw their very first dead body together when they were in elementary school (Aussie translation; primary school). As any such experience would effect young impressionable minds, the two formed a blood pact to never speak of the incident again until it became chuckle worthy fodder on their band’s ‘About’ section on Facebook.
Hypothetical oaths aside, Horgan and Cohen have been playing in various bands for the last few years, after which they realised that playing together wasn’t a half bad idea. “Finally it dawned on us, being that the shapes and presentations of bands are constantly changing and evolving, to link up, just the two of us, and create what came naturally” says Horgan.
With the band beginning to build steam they have signed with Australian indie record label Monday Records (home to Spookyland, Wells and Pikachunes) following a meeting at last year’s CMJ showcase in the band’s hometown. Now with their debut EP on the horizon the duo are ready to unleash the first taste of their labours with lead single Cool Waves, Young Blood. The track bolts off the mark, a torrential downpour of crashing cymbals and frantic keys backed by the wash of fuzzy guitars.
Horgan’s vocals ring out casually, the phantom of a past relationship hanging above him arresting his thoughts. Recurring imagery of sleep punctuates the song, lyrics like “Defeated, we’d meet in a dream half asleep/ my bed was the ocean and you’d carry me” seeing this notion swell continually. This is lo-fi rock at it’s best.
The band have described themselves as ‘Frankensteined’ indie-rock, a notion that makes itself clear in Cool Waves, Young Blood. There is an amalgamation of various styles that give the song its character. There are heavy moments with the instrumentation while Horgan’s vocals remain slightly aloof and introspective. It gives the song a well-rounded sound. It may not be one that jumps out at you immediately, but it’s the kind that will nestle it’s way into your brain after the third or fourth listen and allow the strength of the songwriting to bloom.
Explaining the ‘Frankensteined’ nature of his band’s music Horgan explains “We tend to take a little bit from everything we absorb and regurgitate it piece by piece through our music” he says. “For instance, if I sit down and try to write a song that sounds similar to The National’s style because I feel so inspired, it may wind up sounding like something completely different because of all the other influences I have swimming around in my head, which was the case with Cool Waves, Young Blood“.
The recording process for the song was smashed out in an impressive four days with the rest of the EP. Featuring Noah Bowman of Diet Cig on drums and engineer Chris Daly at Salvation Recording Co. in New Paltz, NY, Horgan and Cohen recorded the entire thing themselves, a feat that surprises the frontman. “I find that remarkable because in my past experiences in recording environments, things never go so smoothly. But this was a piece of cake to record, I think because everyone had a firm idea of what these songs should sound like” he notes.
Wit their debut EP set to be released soon, Cool Waves, Young Blood stands as a promising first cut for what’s to come from Home Lives. Armed with a solid direction as a band and the skills to match, we’re sure to expect big things from this duo. Their debut EP Cool Waves, Young Blood will be released through Monday Records, with limited edition cassette tapes available in the UK through Fox Food Records.