With a sound that sits among a jaunty Rex Orange County and the plodding bedroom pop of boy Pablo, Hauskey’s music is breezy enough to lure you in but introspective enough to make you stay a while.
Despite the state of the rest of the world, 2020 has been pretty formidable for indie-pop upstart Hauskey. The Australian singer-songwriter gained strong traction from the first two singles he released earlier this year and is staying true to form with his impressive upcoming debut EP ‘Slow’.
As the EP opens with its title track, raspy vocals and an ambling backbeat lull around topics as mundane yet charming as procrastination or taking out the bins in a song named by Jack Saunders (of BBC Radio 1’s Indie Show) as one of the best of the year. Then, in ‘Somewhere’, the EP’s other previously released single, acoustic strums and a slow yet funky bassline intersperse with Nintendo-style blips as pure escapist lyrics are the order of the day – “somewhere the sky is green / and the oceans are made of cookies and cream”.
Slacker anthem ‘Plan B’ brings a dose of self-deprecating humour to proceedings as the singer lists his own faults from takeaway addiction to lack of punctuality. In contrast, Hauskey leans away from his usual optimism in ‘Not Good’ which is arguably his most dynamic track. He asks “Are you behind my back or does it just feel like that? / why won’t you look me in my face?” in a style that delves into confrontation yet still retains a sound of saccharinity.
However, it is sweet-natured ‘Silver Lining’, soon to be released as a single, that proves to be the standout of the EP. Trilling, reverbed guitars ring out over lovestruck odes to an idealised love – “cos you’re the silver lining in all this blue / and there’s a halo round everything you do”. As the jubilant handclaps of ‘You Me’, a track chronicling a similar doe-eyed devotion, draw ‘Slow’ to a close, Hauskey still manages to charm by sticking with frankness over frivolity, even at his most romantic.
Like the words of ‘Somewhere’ indicate, as Hauskey meanders from song to song, ‘Slow’ lives in the relaxing world of a perpetual Saturday afternoon. Though the EP may lack in sonic variation, it more than makes up for its continuity by creating a recognisable and endearing sound.