Recently I’ve noticed an oddly-specific trend in band names: owls. And I mean more than just Owl City, people. Maybe I’m hyper-sensitive because the wide-eyed creature is one of my favorite animals, but after finding four bands that share similar, lovely sounds, I couldn’t resist sharing. These groups are no longer nocturnal. They make my head spin. You’ll get a hoot out of them. The puns will stop as you keep reading, I promise.
1. First up is Minneapolis four-piece outfit The Owls. Although their last full-length release Daughters and Suns dates back to 2007, their quirky, indie pop is not stale. My favorite tracks are “Peppermint Patty,” a biography of the Charlie Brown character, and Beatles-like “All Those in Favor“. Members Allison LaBonne, Maria May, and Brian, Tighe weave delicate harmonies among playful whistles and piano scales. For fans of: The Bird and the Bee, Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura
2. Next I’d like to introduce you to Colyn Cameron of Wake Owl. He is the Canadian love child of Ben Howard (we all know how I feel about him) and the Tallest Man on Earth; Wake Owl’s raspy vocals with eerie string accompaniment generate a powerful sound. His single “Gold” (below) is a steady orchestral crescendo and perfect for the winter months ahead. While Cameron’s new EP was released earlier this month in the UK, we sadly must eagerly wait until January 2013 for Wild Country to hit the US.
3. Freak Owls is the indie-folk collaboration of Josh Ricchio, Kolby Wade, and Russ Lemkin. Highlights from their debut album Taxidermy are “Little Things,” essentially an electronic Lumineers song, and “Hey, Na Na Na,” an interesting mix of a capella harmonies, airy guitar chords, and endless handclaps. You can grab a FREE copy of their latest EP Orchastrates from their website. And if you can’t get enough, download of their new single “I Would” from SoundCloud. It’s a bit of a departure from their folkier days, and they sound like an echoing Arcade Fire, but hopefully 2013 will bring more Freak Owls.
4. The Hoot Hoots are upbeat, synth-y “fuzzy power pop,” and the perfect soundtrack for solo dance parties. Although they already have two albums, Silly Lecture Series and Appetite for Distraction, under their belts (or feathers?), this Illinois-based band is still cranking out energetic hooks. Feel the Cosmos drops on November 29th. If you like Reptar and Oberhofer and the Lumineers, for the love of music get your Hoot Hoot on.