Hovvdy with special guest Whitmer Thomas and Girlpuppy are Live at Duling Hall May 1st
Drummers Will Taylor and Charlie Martin formed Hovvdy in 2014, when they decided to start writing material after playing guitar for only a short while. The duo’s laid-back and simplistic approach first appeared on the seven-track EP that December. The following year, the pair teamed up with fellow Austin band Loafer to release the split single “Stay Warm.” Hovvdy then headed out on tour across the U.S. before recording their debut album, Taster. Arriving in April 2016, it caught the ear of Philly-based indie label Double Double Whammy, which remastered and reissued the album a year later. 2017 also saw the duo back on tour, with support slots for Pinegrove and Downtown Boys. Hovvdy’s sophomore album, the whispery Cranberry, followed in February 2018. .
meet WHITMER THOMAS
Whitmer Thomas will admit that when he traveled home to small town Gulf Shores,Alabama to record his HBO stand-up special, The Golden One, he expected to be greeted as a returning hero, a conquering king, or at minimum, a guy with a moderately successful career as an entertainer in Los Angeles. “I expected a big welcome home, open arms, but when I went back I realized: nobody fucking knows me. Nobody remembers me,” Thomas says. “In the years I’d been performing that show, I’d been romanticizing my childhood in this mythologized place, but the visit made me see that I’m not really from there anymore.”The sense of alienation compounded when Thomas recognized how few people in town remembered his mom, to whom The Golden One is dedicated and largely about. Thomas grew up watching her perform with her twin sister at the legendary Flora-Bama Lounge, where he set the special, and still counts her as one of his musical influences. His new album, The Older I Get the Funnier I Was, isn’t overtly about his mom, her presence is deeply felt throughout. While in Gulf Shores,Thomas discovered dozens of her old recordings, all of which had been wrecked by Katrina, but upon returning to LA, Thomas paid “a fancy place in Hollywood” to fix the tapes and hired Melina Duterte (Jay Som, Bachelor, Routine) to mix them.The two struck up a collaborative friendship, and as the pandemic forced everyone indoors, Thomas had the sound of his mom’s voice back. “I was listening to songs she recorded when she was about my age, just these heartfelt, sweet Americana songs,” he says. “I decided then that I wanted to lose the Ian Curtis voice I always sing with; I wanted to do what came naturally, because my mom always sounded like herself, even when she was singing some cheesy reggae song about, like,Jamaica.”If you’ve heard Songs from the Golden One, released by Hardly Art to acclaim after the special premiered, or seen Thomas’ viral lockdown hit “Big Baby,” then you know the voice to which he’s referring: it’s deep, British, melancholic, and a far cry from Thomas’ chirpy speaking voice which he describes as being “like a 12-year-olds.” Nevertheless, he committed throughout the process of writing and recordingThe Older I Get the Funnier I Was, knowing it was time to retire his dark wave persona, at least for the time being. It makes sense: much of the album chronicles what Thomas calls “being a kid and feeling like you have no control and over compensating by being annoying.”“So much of the album is about witnessing drug and alcohol addiction as a kid and seeing what it does to people, but also realizing that there’s nothing you can do about it,” Thomas says. It’s familiar territory (see: “Partied to Death”) but the methodology feels totally different this time around; true to its title, The Older I Get the Funnier I Was isn’t always looking for laughs.Soon, Thomas will take these songs on the road as part of a new comedy show, but for now they exist simply as a product of a particularly confusing moment in his life, when home started to feel less like Alabama and more like Los Angeles, and yet he still couldn’t shake the hardwired desire to resurrect childhood, make it som how cinematic. Thomas might’ve left his hometown behind, but his kid self is still tagging along, a Peter Pan shadow he can’t untether himself from. The first he sings on The Older I Get the Funnier I Was is: “There should be a room at every party where you can just sit and watch a movie.” Find a 12-year-old who wouldn’t say the same.
The Atlanta-based singer and songwriter Becca Harvey’s lyrics are filled with an undisguised sentimentality and witty self-effacement, a mix that’s garnered quick acclaim for her project, girlpuppy. Since girlpuppy’s debut in 2020, Harvey has applied her emotional and vocal versatility to whatever genre she sees most fit to explore. First came the lo-fi guitar pop of introductory single “For You”; next, the self-described “sad girl” indie of 2021’s Swan EP, a collaboration with producer Marshall Vore (Phoebe Bridgers, Ada Lea) that drew praise from the likes of NPR and Nylon; in 2022 “I Miss When I Smelled Like You,” girlpuppy’s foray into ‘70s-indebted arena pop, saw her team up with Doug Schadt (Maggie Rogers, Claud) on a breezily yearning break up jam. Harvey has deep gratitude for her career recording and touring—including with some of her favorite artists, The Districts and Matt Maltese. But it’s not always light work parsing through the feelings that lead to heavy-hitting songwriting. “It’s hard to relive something bad that’s happened to you, and write it in a way that sounds beautiful and clever,” Harvey admits. “You want to write about it in a way that no one’s ever heard of before.” This strive for self-betterment is at the core of her 2022 full length debut, When I’m Alone, a record which centers Harvey’s dreamy vocals in intricate soundscapes, all while confronting the introspective thoughts she’s experienced in isolation. Recorded with Alex G guitarist Sam Acchione (who’s production work Harvey admired on Tomberlin’s Projections EP), engineered and mixed by Henry Stoehr of the Chicago band Slow Pulp, and combining influences as diverse as My Bloody Valentine, Caroline Polacheck, and the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack, When I’m Alone is her biggest, deepest, most complete project to date.
Doors – 7:00pm | Show – 8:00pm
Listen to them on Spotify and watch their recent performance live at WNXP’s Sonic Cathedral to get a sneak peek at the show you’ll be seeing at Duling Hall on May 1st.
Listen on Spotify
Hovvdy Live at WNXP’s Sonic Cathedral
Our friends at Saltine Restaurant serve a food menu from doors to showtime and provide a full bar with signature cocktails throughout the entire event.
Duling Hall is an Independent Venue that welcomes all music lovers.