Simple pleasures abound on the debut album from Indiana quartet Houndmouth: pure, true harmonies, precise playing, familiar themes about being lost and losing in America. Even the recording is lovely: as the album opens, with On the Road, you can hear the faint echo from the room they're recording in. Simple pleasures, and old-fashioned ones, too – Houndmouth are so traditionalist that you could imagine Nigel Farage nodding along approvingly. There's the odd modern twist to keep you alert: Casino (Bad Things) might once have been a story about getting in too deep with whiskey; instead it opens with Katie Toupin matter-of-factly explaining about the people who "got me hooked on freebase … and now they got me doing bad things". The style is unwavering – that part of Americana the Band explored 40 years ago, with some almost criminally obvious lifts on Penitentiary and Long As You're At Home – but it's delivered with such warmth and skill that reservations fade, and the delight of hearing a band do something very well takes over.
Houndmouth: From the Hills Below the City – review
Michael Hann is a freelance writer, and former music editor of the Guardian