Artist: Hoots and Hellmouth
Album: In The Trees Where I Can See The Forest
Label: Self Released
Release Date: 10/28/2016
Despite their indie origins, Hoots and Hellmouth have done quite well for themselves by procuring an unassuming sound that both rings and resonates with carefully crafted melodies and a fully stirring sound overall. Formed ten years ago by guitarist Sean Hoots, and later augmented by multi-instrumentalist Rob Berliner, bassist Todd Erk and drummer Mike Reilly, the band has made steady strides in the college market and in festival realms beyond. In The Trees Where I Can See the Forest is easily their most pronounced effort to date, a confident and quietly compelling set of songs that’s assured and assertive, yet lithe enough to sink in slowly and unobtrusively. “In Effigy,” “Diction” and “Hurt A Little” coast along effortlessly, but still create an enduring impression that’s practically hypnotic in both tone and execution. The band’s soft core center leaves room for the occasional anthemic chorus, but the subtlety and sincerity inherent in their delivery moots any tendency towards grandstanding. It suggests instead a band with a superb sense of song craft — consider the loping drift of “Move Me,” the quietly compelling “Hurt a Little” and the folky and folksy “Rivers and Rivulets” as ample evidence of this fact — leading to the conclusion that In The Trees Where I Can See The Forest may indeed be the sleeper set of the year. A lovelier, more lilting endeavor would be hard to imagine.