Recording information: The Record Room , Kent (04/2014-10/2014).
Taking a breather from the revved-up tempos and dense textures of Recommended Record, It Hugs Back return with Slow Wave, a fittingly named collection of gorgeous atmospheres. More expansive and experimental than some of the band's previous output, songs such as the Yo La Tengo-esque opening track "Goodbye" build from guitar to strings and saxophone in an unhurried fashion that feels organic instead of boring. Elsewhere, the band blends elements of dub and motorik into subtly stunning tracks like "Endless Drive" and "Still Here," while "Everything's OK" and "Happy Birthday" recall the Clientele's and Gravenhurst's skills at making whispers riveting. Mellow yet heartfelt, Slow Wave is some of It Hugs Back's most beautiful, and quietly powerful, music. ~ Heather Phares