Our Track by Track feature gives musicians the opportunity to explain how each track on their new album came together. Today, Austin duo Hovvdy break down their latest full-length, True Love.
Hovvdy have returned today with their fourth album True Love. Stream it below.
Spanning 12 tracks, the full-length was led off by the title track, which earned the Austin duo a Song of the Week honorable mention. To create their biggest-sounding album to date, Will Taylor and Charlie Martin visited the Los Angeles studio of co-producer Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Bon Iver) throughout 2020.
“Sarlo heard things in our individual production styles that we might otherwise feel self-conscious about, but he would lean into them,” Martin said about the experience. “We knew we could come in with a very stripped-down acoustic guitar song and it would end up being expansive and vast. I felt really confident in letting this record be as tender and beautiful as we could make it, knowing there would always be a layer of darkness in there.”
Currently on tour with Dayglow, Hovvdy will play sold-out record release shows at venues in Austin, New York, and Los Angeles later this month. In 2022, they will embark on a lengthy headlining tour with Molly Parden and Mini Trees as opening acts. Check out their complete tour schedule, and snag tickets via Ticketmaster.
For more insight into True Love, Hovvdy have broken down the album in our latest Track by Track interview. Read on for details about each of the record’s songs underneath the stream below.
“Sometimes” dates back further than any other song on True Love, but was ironically the last to be added. A few days before wrapping the album and leaving Los Angeles, we hit a wall with another song, and all agreed this simple and short song made a lot of sense. Charlie joining on vocals added a new energy that leveled it up. — Will Taylor
I wanted this one to sound like a fast-flowing river because sometimes that’s what love feels like. It’s a very straightforward song and that feels good. — Charlie Martin
“Lake June” pulls narrative from multiple seasons in my life. It stories the challenging yet rewarding nature of being loyal to your loved ones. I thought we found an interesting balance between a soft song and one that bumps. The “I love you so much” section has become one of the moments on the album I’m most proud of. — W.T.
This song is named after my brother Graham. When I was 12 and he was 16, our folks split up and our dad moved back to Mississippi. With the divorce and our mom being kinda on her own in raising us, we really banded together. We had always fought like brothers until then, but after that we never did. Honestly, we locked into this full love and commitment to each other — and I can’t imagine where I’d be without that. The song travels from the past (when I was a kid, waking him up with my wheezing, fighting in the front yard yelling “I hate you”) to the present (2020) when I feared I’d never see him
again. — C.M.
“Around Again” lyrically shifts between big reflections and small memories. A song about resilience; about willingness to try again. It took a moment to find this song’s true identity, as it was very country when brought in to record. Once we felt happy with the mood of the song, it was a blast to build out the arrangement with electric guitars and slide instruments. — W.T.
I remember writing “Hope” on accident. I was doing some keyboard work on a completely different song, kinda struggling honestly, and I fell into this progression and ran with it. As individuals, we misunderstand each other so frequently and it can feel hopeless. Our reality can feel totally divided if not doomed; but on the other end of that spectrum is connection and compassion and hope, and I think we’ve all been grappling with those against each other a lot lately. — C.M.
With “Joy” I was diving into the sensation of letting go of the past, which is never easy. Sometimes in friendships, family dynamics, etc., the small things can pile up over time and create an unnecessary barrier. I love to trust that it’ll all work out, but with relationships, it takes a little extra effort. From a distance, without much communication, it’s so easy for tensions to build; but when we get together and just share space, communicate, it’s remarkable how much better we are. — C.M.
“One Bottle” is a recount of love, joy, uncertainty, and the happenings that surrounded them. I’m proud of how this one moves with patience and lets the vocals do most of the work. Lyrically, this may be the most straightforward song I’ve ever written. Sonically, it’s minimal and delicate. — W.T.
“Blindsided” is about my childhood in Dallas — all the ups and downs I remember with vivid detail. I try hard to see memories with empathy because it feels like the most solid ground to walk on. — C.M.
“Hue” is a reflection on the overwhelming emotions that come along with being a new dad, and an acknowledgment that my negative behavioral habits have a big effect on my family. Going in to record songs as simple as “Hue” often stirs an insecurity in myself that results in adding too many instruments, getting lost in parts, until it begins to feel bogged down. Luckily Sarlo lead me to realize It felt wonderful to leave this one as simple as possible, so we pulled back. — W.T.
“Junior Day League”:
“Junior Day League” is a lighthearted song about feeling swept away by new people in a new place. Recounting the vivid memories as best I could, and letting the steadiness of the music carry the weight. This was the last song I finished writing for the album, and I’m happy with how we made an uptempo song still feel low-key. — W.T.
“I Never Wanna Make You Sad”:
I was listening to a lot of Jon Brion when I wrote this one, one of my heroes. It started out as an instrumental piano piece and the melody felt so pure I was timid to approach it with my voice. But sometime in the early fall 2020 I kinda dove in, figured it was worth a shot. People ask me if I wrote this record during or about the pandemic, and I lie and say no. Because it goes without saying we are all traumatized, and a lot of these songs, this one especially, deal with that experience. I know I don’t need to explain it — I just hope the music is there for y’all like it was there for me. — C.M.