Hello, Again is one of those albums that I want to have on cassette. Not that I have a cassette player these days, but there’s such a reverence for ‘90s style emo, and maybe a little bit of post-rock, on this disc that it reminds me of days spent in my parent’s car, on a long drive, with music blaring from the cassette deck. There’s portability to this record, and that’s what this Chicago four piece brings to the table. With vocals from Kate Grube, who reminds me a bit of Sarah Shannon of Velocity Girl, this band has a simply adorable sound, with crunchy guitar riffs that are as brittle as a cookie. There is no bass guitar, just a Farfisa organ in its place, and that brings distinctness to the group’s sound. Many songs bleed into each other, creating unity, and Hello, Again also boasts shimmery guitars that recall the sitar work of Tom Petty’s “Don’t Come Around Here No More”.
There aren’t really any tracks in particular that grab the listener. Rather, the album is a seamless affair, being fully enjoyable from start to finish. Retro in feel — note the rotary phone that’s on the cover — Kittyhawk has a feel that recalls the days of the early to mid-‘90s, when music was a true adventure in the underground. Hearing this, it brings to mind high school days where friends would slip a CD or a tape to you at your locker and strongly encourage you to check a certain band contained within out. And while there’s plenty of vitriol in these songs, the overall effect is one of cuteness. Hello, Again is your high school sweetheart, and it brings back the feel of first dates. Consistently strong, but without shackling itself from its influences fully, Hello, Again is a memory of days when you were young and carefree and the world was at your fingertips. If you adore adorability, Hello, Again is an authentic look back at a time when the crush of responsibility hadn’t reared itself yet, and is a faded Polaroid of such times. If that’s remotely alluring to you, you will be charmed by this.