20 July 2011
Perhaps the biggest regret of most music bloggers is that they just don't have enough time. Given that, for the majority, blogging is something that is done in spare time - a 'hobby', according to the Job Centre - where other responsibilities (jobs, family, friends, other journalistic obligations) often take higher priority, allocating time to give every piece of new music adequate time to settle and to grow can be tricky. Naturally, and regrettably, this can lead to only those pieces of music that are immediate internal hits receiving all the blog love and those that time to grow little to none.
Hoop Dreams are a three-piece from Conway, Arkansas who, luckily for me, put their debut EP San Jose up onto bandcamp for free. Luckily in that, had they not, and had I not downloaded it, there's every chance that I would never have listened to it again. Going through browser histories and keeping written lists as to bandcamp and SoundCloud pages to revisit is a time-consuming task. A task that I and many other bloggers would love to have the time for but, unfortunately, more often than not, simply don't. Luckily that, had I not listened for that second time, I probably would 't have listened for the third, or the fourth.
Suffice to say that San Jose is a release that grows after each listen. What at first comes across a little twee and overly sweet develops, as layers and textures become more apparent - the bending, jangling, distorted guitar parts; the perfectly judged drum parts; the plodding bass; the sweet and pristine female vocals; - and as the songs reveal themselves to be more than they at first seem to be. Although tagged on bandcamp (amongst other genres) as 'surf pop', Hoop Dreams are perhaps more comparable to the sweet and jangly pop of UK band Standard Fare which is ace, obviously. Don't act like a typical blogger. Don't judge it on first listen. Download it. Let it grow. I can't wait to hear more.
Hoop Dreams - Passing Through
Hoop Dreams - Vacation
Bandcamp | Facebook