Portland trio, Hey Lover, have been making saccharine-sweet garage pop for almost ten years, and this Friday, May 6th, they’ll drop a third full-length with Hovercraft Records, titled Sinking Ships. Having been nearly five years since their last release, Sinking Ships feels immediately different than Tennessee or the self-titled debut, Hey Lover. The melodies are still simple and hooks memorable, and you still get everything you would hope for in their charming, raw vocal harmonies. But the tone is shifted. Their punk demeanor has grown a quiet tenderness.
Where previous albums were something to dance hard and fast to, Sinking Ships is all backyard barbeques and windows-down road trips with your best friends. Though it’s still early in the year to say, Hey Lover just may have unveiled the quintessential summer album of 2016: the soundtrack to late nights and summer flings, your perfect warm days in the sun. The eleven tracks encompass all of those feelings, balancing a romanticization of time without ever being overly-twee.
The opening track, “I Wanna Be with You“ is fun and uncomplicated. A simple bass line steadily grooving alongside a straightforward guitar progression, made innately alluring with playful, overdriven vocals melodies. About half way in, things slow down with the album’s lead single, “Nancy” and the sludge-grunge burner “Problem.” An obvious highlight of the album is the title track, “Sinking Ships,” which showcases the true good-natured punk spirit that Hey Lover has never lost. From the driving three chord Ramones-esque guitar riffs, to the candy-sweet male-female vocal harmonies, “Sinking Ships” is garage pop perfection.
Sinking Ships will be available this Friday on the interwebs, but catch Hey Lover this Saturday night at Bunk Bar for the official release celebration with support from The Lavender Flu (who themselves recently released a completely epic 30-track double lp), and Mope Grooves.
We’ll update this post with the full stream of Sinking Ships when it’s available on Friday. Until then enjoy this “official” audio-visual goodness created by Cain Hendricks for the track “Nancy.”