Review by Lorna Myles
At the time of writing, Hurtling remain one of alt-rock’s best-kept secrets. If you’ve been lucky enough to stumble across one of their searing sets in tiny London venues, or possibly at Loud Women Fest 2019, this album will come as a welcome reminder of the layered and intense sound these three unassuming people seemingly effortlessly forge onstage. If you’re one of the many who’ve not yet made their acquaintance, however, well. You’re in for a treat.
Each member of the band is exceptionally talented and you may have spotted one or more of them augmenting the live sound for artists like My Bloody Valentine, Graham Coxon, Charlotte Hatherley etc. But together, playing their own songs, they’re a formidable force, an actual super-group.
From the opening track, Start, with its Pavement-esque guitar riff and slightly off-kilter drums riding along in a cart behind, this record sounds like a road trip across a desert, somewhere in America, with friends driving together in a tripped out convoy, bouncing over bumps in the road, racing each other gleefully, overtaking, pulling apart, careering back together again.
The sounds across the whole album are gorgeous – rich, fuzzy guitar and bass, sometimes drenched in reverb, always warm, riffs and beats and vocals always landing just right with just the right amount of space between. And everything flows, like water through channels full of interesting edges and varied depths, burbling playfully, sometimes smooth and fast sometimes gurgling around a stone or a tree.
When Memory Cassette starts up it sounds like a radio hit coming over the car stereo; a slice of west coast summer punk/pop, with a tipsy riff to fall over for. Next comes the darkly intense Feel It, where singer/guitarist Jen Macro’s voice ranges from gentle and pure to a slightly stifled scream…
“so it begins / pulling out limbs / FEEL IT!”
Summer is known from live sets as the epic one with the big psychedelic rock out ending. “Let’s start on an even keel / let’s touch what we cannot feel / my heart wouldn’t even say” sings Jen and you feel your heart softly break, before the chorus lifts you up and then that big ending makes all the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
But the stand out track is possibly Alone, with its beautiful guitar picking, dreamy chord modulations and, towards the end, lush harmonies. “Now here I stand in the sand drawing a line / between what’s yours now and used to be mine.” It sounds ready made for a film, for the scene with the rain pattered night-time drive home, the heroine looking sadly out of the window, etc, ad lib to fade. Surely it’s only a matter of time?
Hurtling – Future From Here will be released by Onomatopoeia on 18 Oct 2019
There’s an album launch gig at The Islington on 17 Oct 2019, where the band will be playing the album in its entirety.