My first exposure to HOY was the rose-tinged video clip for ‘Words’, an early cut from the band’s upcoming album, Aquaslum. Shot on 8mm film around a tumble-down chateau at St Erme, outside Paris, the film is striking for its unabashed romanticism. Both visually and sonically ‘Words’ summons up the naivety of 60s pop acts like Peter, Paul and Mary, Love and Francoise Hardy, as well as early 90s twee – bands like Belle and Sebastian, who still sound refreshing for their outright refusal of toughness or irony.
HOY (formerly Houlette) is Felicity Cripps, Cecilia Dowling and Liam Linley. There’s a distinctly francophile vibe to this group; it’s all turtlenecks, flares and white roses. All three of them are totally dreamy: Cripps is a Jane Birkin lookalike, and Linley’s a dead ringer for a young Keith Richards – before the heroin took its toll, I mean. A mix of chamber pop and classic folk, much of Aquaslum was conceived during HOY’s European tour. The tracks were laid down at St Andrew’s Church in Talbot, Victoria, the old stone building providing the ballads with just the right amount of warmth and echo.
‘Get Some Sleep’ is the first official release from the album. It’s a simple and elegant number, led by Linley (each member contributes songs to the band) embellished by a light touch of viola and the girls’ soft backing vocals. Being something of an #introvert myself (has this been trending in anyone else’s Facebook feed lately?), my inner child weeps a bit when I hear the lyric, ‘You’re so deep in yourself / that you don’t need anyone else’. The video, in which the very European looking threesome stand around in a distinctly Australian landscape, was shot in a faded paddock somewhere in the Victorian goldfields.
Aquaslum will be out early next year. In the meantime, HOY will be joining The Basics on their east coast tour in September. Here are the dates:
Thu 19 Sept – Fresh on Charles, Launceston
Fri 20 & Sat 21 Sept – Republic Bar, Hobart
Thu 26 Sept – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine
Fri 27 & Sat 28 Sept – Northcote Social Club
Sun 29 Sept – Corner Hotel, Richmond
Thu 3 Oct – Transit Bar, Canberra
Fri 4 Oct – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney