The Hush Now is a band out of Boston, Massachusetts that offers upbeat poppy ballads that can appeal to nearly anyone. The album name, Shiver Me Starships, sets an important tone as all the tracks provide an ambience similar to a space shuttle launch; but, a really happy, indie, space shuttle launch. Where everyone wears brightly colored astronaut suits.
The first track “The Other Ones” has fuzzy cymbal crashes and a catchy foot-tapping chorus. Noel Kelly, the lead vocalist, operates in a vocal range that is high – almost falsetto – but appropriate to the feel of the songs. His boyish intonations give a frivolity to the album that makes it especially enjoyable.
One of the best tracks is “Daedalus Bound” and starts off bouncy and energetic. The weightlessness of this pure-pop song really gives the feel that they’ve reached the anti-gravity portion of their space journey. Kelly sings, “Higher and higher and higher and such a struggle… You’re falling through the sky, with arms spread open wide,” and though serious reflection on these lyrics give the impression that someone is in a lot of danger, the upbeat guitar and energetic drum work makes it seem like falling through the sky is just a an innocent recreational activity.
The track “Pure Gold” isn’t just the last song on the album, it eloquently concludes, like nobody’s business. It’s an endurance march of a song in its 6 minutes and 30 seconds length, but no one said returning back to earth would be easy. Kelly hauntingly repeats, “Here we go,” in a steady build that gives way to similarly melancholic verses. This continues until the delightfully messy and increasingly discordant end, when it suddenly drops off into electronic beats that leave the listener dizzy.
The Hush Now began with a bang in 2008 with their self-titled debut, quickly following with critically acclaimed Constellations, and they received popularity in England through exposure from the BBC. Ultimately, the album is a quick six tracks that will make you tap your feet and dream of casual weekend trips into space.
Shiver Me Starships was released September 28, 2010 on Merge Records.
Review by Ellie McElvain