From the glory days of grunge to present-day indie mopers, Seattle has developed a reputation for turning out rock bands that excel while being a bummer. Yes, that perception paints in broad strokes, but it’s not entirely untrue. So sometimes we could use a change of pace—a record that overflows with pretension-free glee. Enter the Hoot Hoots’ latest EP, Feel the Cosmos.
The quartet, founded by brothers Adam (lead vocals and guitar) and Chris (drums) Prairie, plays a fun-loving and energetic brand of power pop suited for sing-alongs. The Hoot Hoots’ songs are jammed with fuzzy guitar, fuzzier keyboard lines, cheerfully crashing symbols, and sugary background vocals that appear intermittently (almost like the woodland creatures in Disney animated features that pop up just to add an “ooo ooo ooo” or a “la la la”). Even though the album sports crisp production, there are certainly traces of the exuberant lo-fi pop charm of bands like the Unicorns.
Lyrically, the album trends toward the playfully absurd sans irony; these are songs about accidentally wasting a day playing Katamari Damacy (“Go for a Walk”) or aliens invading Earth to take humans home as pets (“Friend or Enemy”). The earnest fun the Hoot Hoots have makes the band accessible, not only for music-blog-scouring audiophiles but also for young children. Feel the Cosmos could easily fit in the same winsome world as Yo Gabba Gabba!. The Hoot Hoots’ new EP may not be able to ward off any oncoming, winter-induced Seasonal Affective Disorder, but it’s hard to listen to this album and be sad.