I miss summer. The air was balmy; days were vibrant. A build-up of nostalgia washes over the first few weeks of autumn, and it’s then I start to listen to more bittersweet tunes. Hovvdy is an indie pop/alternative rock duo that I came across at the height of summer, and while I had their music on repeat at the time, it’s the quiet lull of autumn that seems to fit their melancholic sound best.
“Pretend” is a hazy tune from Hovvdy’s 2016 EP,Taster. The Austin-based duo paint washed-out heartache with percussion-driven production, the basis for their fuzzy guitars and compressed synths. Their minimalist approach is born out of a late start to the guitar — as drummers and newcomers to the guitar, both Will Taylor and Charlie Martin emphasizesimplicity and rhythm in their guitar work.
Lyrically, the duo sing with hopefulness and longing: “Could not win yourself over / Say I will be a friend if you want,” only to “Pretend to be what I never will." Even with a handful of lyrics, Hovvdy provides a subdued intimacy that reverberates honesty, contrasting the chaos of relationships with lyrical simplicity.