I hadn’t even pressed play on the song yet and one thing was wildly clear: this band deserves a gold star for vocabulary. Hills Like Elephants? What an awesome name! Those words beg to be splattered on the front of a t-shirt. And Doc, I think I’m coming down with a bad case of “Ninjavitus.” Take my temp, because my feet won’t stop moving and I can’t keep my clothes on.
HLE is a five-piece band from San Diego, led by Sean Davenport. They produce a perfect mix of indie, lo-fi disco and uptempo 80s beats. There’s a hint of Motown too, I’ll give it to them. Last year the quintet snagged “Best New Artist” at the 2012 San Diego Music Awards and went on to play SXSW. The contagious “Ninjavitus” is featured on the group’s sophomore album Feral Flocks.
I heard this song once and it got in my bones. It’s quirky and electric. It sounds like a Saturday.
The fact that the word “ninja” is in the title of this single should have encouraged you to hit play, but in case you’re still mulling over the decision read this:
“Raised a bottle-toss away from Tom Waits old turf, the candid crooner [Davenport] finds solace in a place where heartbroken vocals, Pavement guitars, and driving drum machines meet. In a curious exploration to see what would happen if soul had a synth and if synth had a soul, Sean tries to answer some his own musical questions. What would happen if The Pixies hung out with Al Green or if Jay Mascis did an album with Marvin Gaye? Noise meets blues, blues meets ambient, ambient meets that beat that makes your head bob. Animal collective meets Otis Redding’s daughter gives birth to a child that listens to psychedelic/dance/indie old and new wave.”
Those words are featured by the band on their Facebook page. Gold star, my friends. Gold stars for everyone.