Hollow & Akimbo

Hollow & Akimbo

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Michigan duo Hollow & Akimbo's 2014 self-titled full-length features the group's melodic, lightly experimental indie pop. Centered around former Mason Proper bandmates Jonathan Visger and Brian Konicek, Hollow & Akimbo first garnered attention with their 2013 EP, Pseudoscience. That release revealed the duo's knack for mixing electronic music and tape loops with a melodic pop songcraft. Here, Hollow & Akimbo move away somewhat from their previous lo-fi laptop sound with a handful of songs that, while still tinged with an electronic experimentation, are more organic and traditional in style. Visger and Konicek mix crunchy electric guitars, pianos, drums, and handclaps next to synth-y soundscapes, electronic bleeps, and skittering, percussive beats. These are arty, somewhat psychedelic songs that bring to mind a dreamy American Midwestern take on '80s British post-punk. In that sense, the album fits nicely alongside such similarly inclined acts as Field Music, the Shins, and Postal Service. Often, as in the case of such songs as "Still Life" and "Molecule," Hollow & Akimbo build a song slowly with extended intros that envelope you in layers of ambient sound before the melodic and lyrical content grabs your attention. Other cuts, like the pounding "Fever Dream" and "The One Who Has to Carry You Home," are more aggressive and reveal Hollow & Akimbo's roots in the frenetic, guitar-wielding indie rock outfit Mason Proper. Ultimately, Hollow & Akimbo have made a thoughtful, artfully produced album with sophisticated qualities that deepen the more you listen.

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