Just like their quirky name, The Hey! Listen! band demands that you stop what you’re doing and quite literally take a listen. The band hails from Portland, OR and they are definitely full of the culture from that scene. The sound created by the band can be considered blues indie folk rock. It is a bit reminiscent of bands like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Tune-Yards, and Cold War Kids.
The first track on their self-titled EP The Hey! Listen! is titled “Black Pearl” and the lyrics scream, “I will never be your girl, I’m a little black pearl.” The song is incredibly upbeat and I can just see this track getting a venue jumping because there’s no way to escape the guitars and drums of this song. It really makes you want to get up and dance. The lyrics are also very catchy and you catch yourself singling along as the song goes on.
The vocals in each track are very intriguing and set the stage for the music. It is a dynamic voice that conveys several connotations throughout the album. On the second track, titled “The Time” the vibe is very different than the first track. It is a bit more melancholy yet still maintains an upbeat demeanor. Execution of the vocals on this track also creates a more folky-bluesy sensation as the vocalist preaches about “the time,” and how “we have nothing but time.” Philosophically speaking, this is a refreshing song that is perfect for a lazy afternoon.
Back to their roots, the next track “Mali-isms” slowly bubbles into a sultry anthem of rock and soul. “Candelion” again is another slowed down song and just makes you want to relax in the grass or let your feet dangle in the pool. Here the vocals remind me of Macy Gray or some trip-hop tracks from the 90’s.
Production of the EP is of good quality, at times it almost seems as though you’re tucked away in some lounge actually hearing the band strum and drum right in front of you. I suspect a unique set up of mics helped achieve this effect. The Hey! Listen! is a superb listen for anyone into rock and funky soul, the album has something great to offer at every stop.
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