In a year teeming with triumphant releases from today’s most highly regarded artists, Hooray for Earth’s brilliantly schizoid Momo EP is likely to stand several heads taller than the rest. The NYC-based band, largely the brainchild of singer/composer Noel Heroux, has been quietly gathering momentum thanks to an innovative EP that plays like an orgy of unintelligible words and undeniable hooks.
Leadoff single “Surrounded by Your Friends” opens the EP with a softly shaken tambourine and some creaky synths that sound as if they were recorded through a wonky telephone line. The song subtly builds in intensity, stacking harmony on top of harmony, until it collapses under its own gorgeous weight. Standout track “Get Home” would be a Magnetic Fields song had Stephen Merritt attended John Hughes High and dated the prom queen.
Never comfortable with merely crafting a perfect melody, Heroux throws the whole affair askew with the unsettling “Scaling”, which sounds like something a pack of zombies might whistle while staggering up your driveway. The unexpectedly epic “Form” quickly rights the ship. Over a pulsating squall of abrasive guitars, Heroux emphatically shouts “Stay true to form” through the song’s fist-raising chorus. While every track on the EP offers a wealth of pleasures, there’s little to prepare the listener for the ecstatic closer, “Rolling/Nectarine”. This four-on-the-floor, dancehall-ready anthem might just be the thinking person’s jam of the summer.
Barely six months into the new decade, Hooray for Earth have already released an EP packed with the sort of sights and sounds that threaten to inform and influence the next several years of popular music.